Tesla And His Critics

Date: 
Thursday, December 1, 1898
Volume: 
14
Pages: 
546-547
Archived Page: 
Author: 
Subject: 
Publication: 

546 Esrmzusnmn 1589. American Electrician, VYITH WIIICII IS INCORPORATED Electrical Industries. W. D. WEAVER, Edltnr. Published on the Hrst of each month by Lha American Electrician Company. NE\V YORK! UIIICAGOZ Hnvemeyer unnalng. nnnnunncu annex. .huns H. Mctinaw, President. A. E. Ur.uf»u|

Dxcnmsaa, 1898.] 547 world at large; and the right to criticise, as a professional journal, public announce- ments of scientific discoveries pertaining to the profession which it represents. As to the first charge, our contemporary in answer prints satisfactory evidence that the republication in its columns of the pa- per in question was authorized by the chair- man of the medical society before which it was read. Even in the absence of such authorization, however, it is difiicult to see what justification there can be for Mr. Tesla's statement: “By publishing in your columns of Nov. I7 my recent contribution to the Electro-Therapeutic Society, you have Gnally succeeded ' ' * in causing me a serious injury.” The paper was pre- sented before a national professional body, and, therefore, it is to he presumed. was maturely composed by its author with n knowledge that such presentation consti- tuted publication to the world. and laid the statements contained open for comment or criticism from any source-not even ex- cluding an electrical journal. As to the second charge, a careful read- ing of the editorial upon which it is based leaves only the impression that* the writer was actuated by a kindly motive in remind- ing Mr. Tesla of the many unfilled promises he has made to the public in recent years-' promises of light without heat, a revolution by means of his “oscillator” in the genera- tion of electrical energy, the transmission of electricity without wires, the destniction of fleets by means of an application of the coherer-to which list might have been added the expulsion of microbes by means of an electrification of the body and other announcements which, with those noted, have earned for Mr. Tesla the popular title of "The Wizard." Surely this constituted a legitimate subject for editorial comment by an electrical journal, and the manner in which the warning was conveyed-that Tesla had arrived at the stage when fulfill- ment of some of the many promises made had become vitally necessary to his repu- tation-was not such as to call for a vio- lent attack on his critic. The truth plainly stated is, that for sev- eral years Mr. Tesla has only escaped simi- lar criticism in professional and scientific journals on account of the high esteem in which he is held personally, and throixgh recollection of the magnificent boon he bestowed on the world by the invention early in his career of the polyphased sys- tem. The manner in which he has per- mitted himself to be exploited by the_sensa- tional newspaper press has been a source AMERICAN ELECTRICIAN. of pain to his friends, and has largely alienated from him the sympathy nf the electrical profession. Moreover, his peri- odical promise of being on the point of ac- complishing some wonder that would revo- lutionize electrical science has had an un- toward effect on the electrical industry, for among laymen it has tended to produce the belief that at any moment one of '1`esla's great discoveries may materialize and de- stroy all present investments.

Year: