Wardenclyffe: Tesla's Only Remaining Laboratory with Karl Grossman, Chief Investigative Reporter, WVVH-TV News

In 1901, Tesla purchased 200 acres on Long Island's north shore from James Warden. These 200 acres were part of an 1,800 acre potato farm along what is today Route 25A in Shoreham, NY. The site became known as Wardenclyffe, after the former owner. Here, Tesla established what would become his only remaining laboratory building. Here, in Shoreham on Long Island that at the turn into the last century, the great inventor Nikola Tesla built a tower with which he hoped to transmit electric power through the air to anywhere in the world.

The purpose of the Wardenclyffe laboratory was the establishment of a wireless telegraphy plant. The prestigious architectural firm of McKin, Mead, and White was contracted to design the laboratory and transmitter tower (187 feet high above ground and 120 feet deep below ground level). Stanford White became the architect for the building.

Tesla's plan had the initial backing of the financier J.P. Morgan. The red brick laboratory building can still be seen on the north side of Route 25A between the intersection of Randall Road and the Shoreham Fire Department. During the last week of July 1903, residents around the Shoreham site experienced what was to be the only testing of Tesla's equipment at this facility. Several days after these tests, his dream was destroyed when creditors from Westinghouse confiscated his heavier equipment for nonpayment for services rendered. In addition, James Warden sued Tesla for nonpayment of back taxes. In 1917, the 187-foot tower was destroyed by dynamite explosion as ordered by the U.S. government. It was demolished the same year by the Smiley Steel Company.

Nikola Tesla was a giant -- the man behind the establishment of alternating current which is at the foundation of how the world became electrified, he invented much in the way of how radio signals are transmitted, and fluorescent lighting, and the bladeless turbine, and on and on.

The son of Serbian parents, he came to the United States in 1994 with four cents.

In 1939, the Peerless Photo Company purchased the property to manufacture emulsions for photographic film and paper. Additional buildings were constructed. In 1969, it became Agfa-Gevaert, Inc., at that time a division of the Bayer Corporation. In 1987, manufacturing ended, and the facility was closed down. Since then, the entire facility has remained dormant. It is noteworthy that, in 1967, the laboratory building was the first to be listed on the Town of Brookhaven registry of historic sites.

The Tesla Science Center has been established to preserve the land and laboratory, Nikola Tesla's last and only existing laboratory, in Shoreham, NY (USA) into a science and technology center and museum celebrating Tesla and his work.

The first interview is with: Jane Alcorn, President, Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.

The second interview is with: Dr. Christopher Wesselborg, Physicist, Associate Editor , Physical Review ,American Physical Society and Secretary ,Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe

The third interview is with Dr. Margaret C. Foster, Physicist, , Associate Editor , Physical Review,
American Physical Society

The fourth interview is with New York State Assemblyman Marc Alessi

The last interview is with David Madigan, Board Member, Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.

The website of the Tesla Science Center organization www.teslasciencecenter.org 631-929-8685

(c) WVVH-TV News 2010

Channel: Sci & Tech Channel

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