One of the greatest minds of the 20th century, the Serbian scientist Nikola Tesla, died on Christmas Day on January 7, 1943, in New York at the age of 87.
He was born on July 10, 1856, in Smiljan, Lika, and died in Manhattan at the “New Yorker” hotel, where he lived for the last 10 years of his life.
The high voltage unit and the magnetic field strength unit are named after Tesla, and his legacy was entered in the UNESCO Register in 2003.
Since 1994, in New York, the corner of 40th Street and 6th Avenue, where his laboratory was located, has been called the Nikola Tesla Corner.
It is credited with 700 patents, of which more than 300 are protected in 27 countries on five continents.
The Mayor of New York, Fiorello la Guardia, read a farewell speech at the funeral of Nikola Tesla, written by Louis Adamic, a Slovenian writer, essayist and translator.
“A man died in his hotel room here in New York last Wednesday. His name was Nikola Tesla. He died poor, but he was one of the most successful people to ever live. ”
“His accomplishments are enormous, and as time goes on they will grow bigger. . . “.
He spoke about Tesla on the radio that he could become the richest man in America, but he just didn’t want to.
“He wanted success, which he intended for others. He loved people, he was a scientist – a genius, a poet of science. He was not interested in money and he did everything he did in accordance with his natural gift, given to him in his home country by his mother, ”said the then mayor of New York.
His friends were writer Mark Twain and French actress Sarah Bernhardt
Several films have been made about him, and in “The Prestige” Tesla’s character is interpreted by David Bowie.
He began his career in Maribor as an assistant engineer in 1878, but that year, due to his father’s death, he enrolled in college to fulfill his wish.
After studying in Prague, he started working in Budapest at the Central Telephone Office, and then in Paris at the Edison Continental Society.
Two years later, he reached Thomas Edison himself, who was then the most prominent figure in the field of engineering in America.
He filed his first patent in the United States, in 1884, after leaving the Edison Company and establishing Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing.
He also made a number of inventions that he never tried to protect, such as the use of high-frequency currents for medical purposes.
Unofficial “New Yorker” hotel archivist Joseph Keene, who led visitors through Tesla’s hotel from 1933 to 1943 in recent decades, said there was a great interest in people to come and see rooms 3327 and 3328 on the 33rd floor, where Tesla lived …
One was sleeping and the other working. He chose the hotel life not to worry about tidying up the house, washing clothes, preparing meals, and thanks to that he could devote his valuable time to achieving his scientific goals.
He chose New York because it was close to his laboratory, but also because it was a hotel with state-of-the-art technological solutions of the time.
The urn with Tesla’s ashes from New York was transferred to Belgrade in 1951 and is housed in his Museum on “Ulica Krunska”.