When I began researching the work of Nikola Tesla for this film project,
I had originally planned to visit the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade,
Serbia to do extensive research in the archives. I was searching for the
underlying principles that were informing Tesla’s experiments during
the last part of his life. I was shocked to discover the archive, which holds
more than 30,000 of his unpublished scientific documents, is inaccessible to
most researchers and kept under lock and key. My visit to the museum
then became a search for archival visual material from Tesla’s life.
These are photographs I took at the museum as part of research for Pictures of Infinity
Inside door of the Nikola Tesla Museum, Belgrade
Inscription of Tesla’s archive into the Memory of the World Register of Unesco in 2003
Letter to Nikola Tesla from Lord Kelvin
Letter to Tesla from Lord Kelvin (detail)
Full text of this letter:
25 August 1897
Dear Mr. Tesla,
I duly received your kind letter and accompanying paper at the
beginning of our meetings here. I delayed writing to thank you
for them until I should be able to tell you of the presentation of
your paper to the Mathematical and Physical Section of the Association.
This took place yesterday and your instrument was shown in ‘action’.
We were all very much interested to see the brilliant effects given from
an electric mechanism occupying so little space. It called forth much
interesting discussion and we were all very sorry that you were not present
with us to explain more fully its details and principles, of which we got a
general idea from your written paper. I am leaving tomorrow with the
British Association Excursion party for Vancouver. I hope to be in New
York about the end of September and I will look forward with much
pleasure to the opportunity of seeing you there about that time,
before leaving to England.
Yours Very Truly,
Books by Lord Kelvin, from Nikola Tesla’s personal library
Tesla’s copy of ‘Theoria Philosophiae Naturalis’ – Ruder Boscovich, and of Voltaire’s Candide
Letter from Albert Einstein to commemorate Tesla’s 75th birthday, 1931
Translation of this letter from German to English (rough):
Dear Mr. Tesla,
It is with great joy that I hear you are celebrating your 75th birthday,
and as a successful pioneer in the field of high frequency energy you
have experienced the miraculous development of this area of technology.
Congratulations on the great success of your life’s work.
Tesla’s Rotating Egg Experiment
Replica of a large Tesla coil from his lab in Colorado Springs, 1899-1900
International unit of magnetic flux density, known as the ‘Tesla Unit’.
Tesla’s urn; a perfect golden sphere
Tesla drawing with pen
Tesla’s research into high frequencies
Excerpt of an article by Tesla about his research into high frequency energy
Colorado Springs display at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade
Tesla’s research notes, chronicling his experiments in Colorado Springs from 1899 to 1900.
(This is a single page from his notebook.)
Tesla’s lab in Colorado Springs, 1899
Nikola Tesla’s lab in New York City, 1892
The caption under this photograph at the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade reads:
Interior of Tesla’s laboratory after lecture given at the Institute of Electrical Engineers and
Royal Institute in London on February 3 and 4, 1892.
The parish home in Lika, Croatia, where Nikola Tesla was born
Nikola Tesla’s father, Milutin (1819 -79)
This is a bag handwoven by Tesla’s mother, Duka