Our Foremost Electrician

By Arthur Brisbane

Venus Tesla Connection introduction ~ home page
.Nikola Tesla
.~Our Foremost Electrician 1894
.Otis T. Carr~~~~~~knew Tesla
.Margaret Storm~~.~loved Tesla
.Arthur H. Matthews~.knew Tesla
see below
transcribed by Curtis
The World New York, Sunday, July 22, 1894
The Wonderful Discoveries and
Daring Theories of Nikola
Tesla as Told by Him
to The World.
Hard at Work Experimenting with a New
Kind of Light and Promises Wonders
That Are Now Undreamed
Of by Scientists.
He Predicts It Will Be The Great Labor
Saver ~ Picturesque Personality of a
Man Who Is Toying with the
Secrets of the Universe.
~~There is a small country in Europe called Lika, and in that country there
is a village of forty houses, called
~~You have probably never heard of
either, but you and many others will live
to know about a baby that was born
in the village of Smiljan in the country
called Lika thirty-seven years ago.
~~It was probably the usual Slavonio
baby, very dark, very nervous and
doomed in advance to a dull and wasted
life. Lika is really a part of Servia, and
Servia had her day long ago. Her men
gained fame by fighting and helping the
Hungarians to keep Asia out of Europe.
Huxley, who thinks seriously, and Oscar
Wilde, who is foolish, can enjoy life and
London now because those old fighters
fought so hard.
~~Most of Servia's modern babies might
as well have avoided the annoyance of
birth for all they can ever do in the
world but this baby is an exception.
~~He was visible yesterday, in his grown-up condition, at Delmonico's. His name
is Nikola Tesla. He is the best elec-
trician living. If men who know about
electricity may be believed. He is to the
average electrician as Horace Greeley is
to Bill Nye. He is serious, he is earnest
and in all ways he commands respect.
~~Every scientist knows his work and
every foolish person included in the
category of New York society knows his
face. He dines at Delmonico's every
day. He sits each night at a table near
a window. When Ward McAltister, that
strange contradiction of the theory that
nature abhors a vacuum wanders in
he sees Nikola Tesla with his head
buried in an evening paper.
~~Every foolish young man who cares
for the law of gravitation only because
it interferes with jumping fences, every
foolish young woman who thinks that
there is something new about her two-
cent love affair, has seen this serious
owl-faced Servian eating his dinner and
thinking about electrical vibrations.
~~Nikola Tesla is almost the tallest al-
most the thinnest and certainly the most
serious man who goes to Delmonico's


~~He has eyes set very far back in his
head. They are rather light. I asked
him how he could have such light eyes
and be a Slav. He told me that his eyes
were once much darker, but that using
his mind a great deal had made them
many shades lighter. I have often heard
it said that using the brain makes the
eyes lighter in color. Tesla's conforma-
tion of the theory through his personal
experience is important.
~~He is very thin, is more than six feet
tall and weighs less than a hundred and
forty pounds. He has very big hands.
Many able men do -- Lincoln is one in-
stance. His thumbs are remarkably big
even for such big hands. They are ex-
traordinarily big. This is a good sign.
The thumb is the intellectual part of
the head. The apes have very small
thumbs. Study them and you will no-
tice this.
~~Nikola Tesla has a head that spreads
out at the top like a fan. His head is
shaped like a wedge. His chin is as
pointed as an ice-pick. His mouth is
too small. His chin, though not weak,
is not strong enough. His face cannot
be studied and judged like the faces of
other men, for he is not a worker in
practical fields. He lives his life up in
the top of his head, where ideas are born,
and up there he has plenty of room.
His hair is jet black and curly. He
stoops-most men do when they have no
peacock blood in them. He lives inside
of himself. He takes a profound inter-
est in his own work. He has that supply
of self-love and self-confidence which
usually goes with success. And be dif-ferent from most of the men who are writ-
ers and talked about in the fact that
he has something to tell.


~~It is most pleasing to hear this wise
man talk about figures that tire the
usual brain. Mr. Delmonico and an aged
friend were talking to Mr. Tesla when I
saw him night before last. Mr. Tesla
having had his supper was discussing
by way of relaxation the number of vi-
brations of the wing of a certain fly.
The fly of which Mr. Tesla did not know
the name, is a fly that flies straight
ahead so fast that you can't see him
and flies back in a straight line without
and apparent effort.
~~"That" said Mr. Tesla "is the strong-
est living animal in proportion to his
size. He moves his wings about twenty-
five thousand times to the second." The
aged man who had consented to take a
drink with Mr. Delmonico mopped his
forehead worriedly, for it was a hot
~~"All that is nothing, from the ordi-
nary point of view," mutter the distin-
guished Mr. Tesla.
??????? ???? if you

Arthur Brisbane
The Man From Venus
Arthur Brisbane
move your hand ten times in a second
and then try to move it one hundred
times to the second, it will take a hun-
dred times as much strength to move it
ten times as fast. The fly that moves
its wings twenty-five times to the sec-
ond requires twenty-five thousand mul-
tiplied by twenty-five thousand times as
much force as he would to move them
once in a second. That makes him use
up about six hundred million times as
much force as you might think to move
his wings like that." Mr. Delmonico's
aged friend said: "Don't talk of such
exertion in this weather," and wearily
mopped himself out of the place.
~~When the aged man had gone Mr.
Tesla said he could go to sleep floating
on the water, and Mr. Delmonico, who
is a very handsome young man with a
pointed black beard, said that he did
not believe sharks ever ate any one up.
Mr. Tesla said that was nonsense for in
the lower Danube pikes sometimes had
seized men and dragged them beneath
the surface. The pikes were four feet
long, and became so dangerous that
swimming about there was prevented.
Mr. Delmonico said he was going to
Sharon Springs, and started for the
Springs at once.
~~Mr. Nikola Tesla then talked at my
urgent request about electricity and the
things that he hopes to do.

~~There is no intention here to give a
technical account of Mr. Tesla's past
achievements and future ambitions. It
would be much too hard to write to be-
gin with, and utterly incomprehensible
to almost every one after being written.
The idea is to discover the new great
electrician thoroughly; to interest Amer-
icans in the Smiljan baby's personality,
so that they may study his future
achievements with proper care.


~~Mr. Tesla's biggest undertaking at
present - that to which he is devoting
his most earnest efforts -- is the produc-
tion of light by the vibrations of the
atmosphere. He has no intention of
heating a bit of cinder red hot and let-
ting if glow by incandescence. The
present incandescent system, compared
to the Tesla idea, is as primitive as an
ox cart with two solid wooden wheels
compared to modern railroading
~~The light of the Sun, according to Mr.
Tesla is the result of vibrations in 94,
000,000 miles of ether which separate us
from the centre of this Solar System. Mr.
Tesla's idea is to produce here on Earth
vibrations similar to those which cause
the sunlight,
and thus to give us a light
as good as that of the Sun, with no dan-
ger from clouds or other obstructions.
Mr. Tesla has already achieved decided
success in this line. He takes in his
hand a long bar of glass, which by vibra-
tion alone, lights up into most amazing
brilliancy. He himself comes out of his
experiments a most radiant creature
with light flaming at every pore of his
skin, from the tips of his fingers and
from the end of every hair on his head.
~~In explaining his experiments, Mr.
Tesla uses figures calculated to pulverize
an ordinary mind.
~~"It is difficult for me," he said, "to
give you an idea that you will readily
grasp about this question of vibration.
In ordinary life our minds do not deal
with the figures that come up in such in-vestigations but take a 5 and put after
it fourteen zeroes; then you will have the
number of vibrations which occur in the
ether every second and which produce
~~I carried out Mr. Tesla's suggestion
with the following, result - 500,000,000,000,000.
~~"All I have to do," said Mr. Tesla
"to duplicate the sunlight is to get this
number of vibrations to the second
with my machinery on Earth; I have
succeeded up to a certain point, but am
still at work on the task."


~~I tried in various ways to present
in cold writing some notion of what
five hundred trillions of vibrations to the
second might mean. I didn't succeed
very well. The nearest I could was to
mention at Mr. Tesla's suggestion, the
following fact: If a mass of metal as
big as the Delmonico restaurant, in
which we sat, possessing 10,000 times the
resisting force of the most finely tem-
pered steel, should be caused to vibrate
with one millionth of the rapidity of the
light-producing electric vibrations in
either, that mass of metal, 10,000 times
harder than steel, would simply vanish
into the air like smoke. It would disap-
pear into separate atoms too small to be
seen and would never be heard of again.
~~Electricity in its vibrations, according
to Mr. Tesla has a great advantage
over all other things such as flies
wings and other material bodies.
tricity has no weight, and therefore no
opposition is offered to its moving back-
ward and forward freely any number of
times to the second.
~~"It is perfectly easy to prove that
electricity weighs nothing." said Mr.
Tesla. "I will load you so full of elec-
tricity that you can't hold any more
and then put you on the finest weighing
machine, and you will not find one-
thousandth part of an ounce added to
your weight."
~~I ventured to suggest to Mr. Tesla
that as a vibrator electricity might meet
with serious competition among modern
statesmen, but his mind was so serious
that he only said: "No statesman could
vibrate fast enough to be of any value
~~Before deciding to give Mr. Tesla un-limited space in the greatest newspaper
that was ever heard of, I had heard from
a dozen reliable sources that there was
not the slightest doubt about his being a
very great man. Authorities unite in de-
claring him the very greatest man living
in the line of abstract electrical research.
~~One able electrician told me that there
never was such a man for working out
purely intellectual problems. Another
said he could conceive of nothing more
extraordinary than the devotion and ad-
miration for Tesla entertained by all of
the young electrical engineers. It is a
pitiful thing for a morbidly conscientious
writer to
??? himself ????ing one not
altogether worthy of his periods and
, but I am certain in the case of
Mr. Tesla that it is safe to go ahead.


~~Mr. Tesla discovered the rotating mag-
netic field.
???? ???? ?? ?? next to his
idea of
????? light by vibration, the
??? ????????? ??? ???. The rotating

Column 2
Arthur Brisbane
has visited Tesla lab
saw for himself
Tesla filling himself
with electricity.
Tesla's number of
Five Hundred Trillion
to produce sunlight
Arthur Brisbane hears
Tesla is like a man
from another
Column 3
magnetic field is a thing which may be described but not understood. Everybody
knows that a magnet will seize a piece
of iron and hold it firmly; everybody
knows that the magnet must use up
force in holding that iron, but of course
as long as it holds the iron perfectly still
the force is wasted. The piece of iron if
left alone would stand still. There is no
use in getting a magnet to make it
stand still. But Mr. Tesla found
that he could get a magnet to use
its force in such a way as to
cause the piece of iron to spin violently
round and round. He can make a wheel
at a distance from the source of electro-
magnetic force spin round with 10,000
horse-power. He expects to apply this
principle in employing the strength of the
Niagara Falls electric current. The fact
may be mentioned that the Niagara Falls
people who have relied upon Tesla to tell
them how they may use their power at a
distance have adopted his scheme.
~~This rotating magnet field struck me
as a most impressive discovery. I asked
Mr. Tesla whether he didn't think it
possible that the spinning, rotary motion
of the Earth and her fellow planets,
commonly attributed to some unex-
plained primary propulsive force, might
be due to the application on a grand scale
of his rotating magnetic field idea. I
suggested that the Sun might be a great
magnet, that the five hundred trillion
vibrations per second which he spoke of
showed considerable electrical power
somewhere; that there was a great deal
of iron and a powerful lot of electricity
in the Earth. Mr. Tesla observed
that he thought it was dangerous to
jump at such conclusions, but he treated
my enthusiasm, born of complete ignor-ance, with a kind toleration, which did
much to convince me of his true great-


~~Electricians in general think that Tes-
la's best work thus far is a machine
which has industrial value as a new and
more direct agent for producing electri-
cal force. I didn't care much about
that compared with the rotating mag-
netic field, but
I asked Mr. Tesla to tell
me in as few words as possible just how
we get electricity,
and why we get it
when we do get it. Said Mr. Tesla:
~~""We get electricity by causing a wire
to revolve near a magnet. The stronger
the magnet the faster the revolutions of
the wire, and the bigger the wire the
more electricity.
~~"Why we get electricity in this way,
and what electricity is, are different ques-
tions. Every electrician has his theory.
I have one which I think I can demon-
strate mathematically. There is no ac-
explanation of the most extraor-
dinary phenomena in nature."
~~Mr. Tesla does not care to see in cold
print an account of those things which
he hopes to accomplish, or to see accom-
plished, by means of electricity.
~~""You would think me a dreamer and
very far gone." he said. "If I should tell
you what I really hope for. But I can
tell you that I look forward with abso-
lute confidence to sending messages
through the Earth without any wires and

and the future
of electricity.
Column 4
have also great hopes of transmitting
electric force in the same way without
waste. Concerning the transmission of
messages through the Earth I have
no hesitation in predicting success. I
must first ascertain exactly how many
vibrations to the second are caused
by disturbing the mass of electricity
which the Earth contains. My machine
for transmitting must vibrate as often
to put itself in accord with the electricity
in the Earth."

~~Mr. Tesla is the interesting person
who, in Philadelphia, before a large
gathering, allowed a quarter of a mill-
ion volts of electricity to go through his
body. Having seen Carlyle Harris and
one other unfortunate individual in-
stantly killed by the application of less
that 2,000 volts.
I asked Mr. Tesla if he
didn't feel a little worried about taking
a current of a quarter of a million
volts. Said he:
~~"I did at first feel apprehensive. I
had reasoned the thing out absolutely,
nevertheless there is always a certain
doubt about the practical demonstra-
tion of a perfectly satisfactory theory.
My idea of letting this current go
through me was to demonstrate con-
clusively the folly of popular impres-
sions concerning the alternating current.
The experiment had no value for scien-
tific men. A great deal of nonsense is
talked and believed about 'volts' ac.
A million volts would not kill you or
hurt you if the current vibrated quickly
enough -- say half a million times to the
second. Under such conditions the
nerves wouldn't respond quickly enough
to feel pain."
~~"You see, voltage has nothing to do
with the size and power of the cur-
rent. It is simply the calculation of the
force applied at a given point. It cor-
responds to the actual pressure per square
inch at the end of a water pipe, whether
the volume of the water be great or
small. A million volts going through
you doesn't mean much under proper
conditions. Imagine a needle so small
that the hole it would make in going
through your body would not allow the
blood to escape. Imagine it so small
that you couldn't even feel it. If you
had it put through your arm slowly, that
would be, electrically speaking, a very
small voltage. If you had it stuck
through your arm with great rapidity,
going, say, at the rate of a hundred
miles a second, that would be very high
voltage. Voltage is speed, pressure at
a given point. it wouldn't do you
any more harm to have a nee-
dle shot through your arm very rap-
idly -- that is to say, with high
voltage -- than it would to put it
through slowly. In fact, if it hurt you
at all, the slow operation would proba-
bly hurt more than the other. The
question of danger is simply the size of
current, and yet if a big enough current
should be turned against you and
broken with sufficient rapidity--if it
should as to break jerk back and forth
an inconceivable number of times to the
second wouldn't kill you. Whereas

Tesla's knowledge
is like from
out of this world
Column 5
if applied continuously, it would simply
burn you up"


~~When Mr. Tesla talks about elec-
tical problems upon which he is really
working he becomes a most fascinating
Not a single word that he says
can be understood.
He divides time up
into billionths of seconds, and supplies
power enough from nothing apparently
to do all the work in the United States.
He believes that electricity will solve
the labor problem. That is something
for Mr. Debs to ponder while he lan-
guishes in his dungeon. It is certain
according to Mr. Tesla's theories, that
the hard work of the future will be the
pressing of electric buttons
. A few
centuries from now the criminal instead
of working a treadmill or picking oakum
will be sentenced to press fifteen elec-
tric buttons every day. His
?fellows?, long
since disused to work, will look upon
his toll with pity and horror.
~~Mr. Nikola Tesla is to be envied. He
owns one of those rare minds which do
not absorb trivialities. A computation
of the vibrations of a fly's wing is to
him what conquest would be to Grover
Cleveland -- it is play. He can play
when he wants to, but he doesn't do it
very often.
~~Mr. Delmonico lowers his voice when
he speaks to Mr. Tesla, as Boston cab-
drivers used to lower their voices in
speaking of John L. Sullivan. He said:
~~"That Tesla can do anything. We
managed to make him play pool one
night. He had never played, but he had
watched us for a little while. He was
very indignant when he found that we
meant to give him fifteen points. But
it didn't matter much, for he beat us
all even and got all the money. There
are just a few of us who play for 26
cents, so it wasn't the money we cared
about, but the way he studied out pool
in his head, and then beat us, after we
had practised for years, surprised us."
~~I talked to this Mr. Tesla of Smiljan un-
til all but one of the lights had gone out
and until the feeble daylight found Mr.
Delmonico's scrub-ladies scrubbing his
marble floor. All that he said was in-
teresting, both the electrical things and
the others.


~~He is very proud of his Slavonic race.
He believes that the poetry of the Slava
written in Servian and Croatian would
surprise the civilized world if it could
be presented in widely known lan-
~~He says that the thin man relies con-
stantly on the food which he eats at
the moment. He looks upon good food
as most important and feels the
strengthening effects of it within twenty
He believes that work never
hurts, but that play does.
~~Nobody, he thinks can work enough
to hurt him.
~~He thinks that marriage and love in-
terfere with success.
~~That suppers are very bad for one in
New York, but all right in Paris.
~~He does not believe in telepathy
which is, according to its exponents
a sort of psychical electricity enabling
one mind to communicate ideas to an-
other without words. He considers that
what is usually taken as an evidence
of the existence of telepathy is more
coincidence. But the working of the
human mind through observation and
reason interests and amazes him, as it
well may.
~~"Suppose I made up my mind to murder
you, "he said, "in a second you would
know it. Now, isn't that wonderful?
By what process does the mind get at
all this?"
~~One wise man whom I knew used to
say that the scientists with their jumble
of laws governing the universe were
ignoramuses, and that there weren't
more that half a dozen fundamental
laws all told. I asked Mr. Tesla what
he thought about that.
~~"I think," said he, "that they could
all be reduced to one."


~~~~Arthur Brisbane career considered in many ways the most remarkable ever achieved by a writer for the U. S. Press. In annual salary ($260,000), and in readers reached (an estimated 30,000,000 a day), Arthur Brisbane far outstripped any other columnist. No less than 1,200 weekly papers carried his "This Week" contribution. Some 200 dailies beside the Hearstpapers ran "Today." As editor of the Hearst tabloid New York Daily Mirror, Mr. Brisbane turned out eight columns of special editorials a week. And every week in the Sunday Hearstpapers, Pundit Brisbane furnished the text for an illustrated page which dramatized some tremendous, if obvious, thought, or outlined the contents of a classic biography or history.
Central Park ~ New York City ~ upper east side of the park
photo by Curtis Cooperman
my bag and jacket on the bench.
Curtis ~ Located and transcribed this 1894 newspaper
Tesla played pool
Venus Tesla Connection introduction ~ home page
.Nikola Tesla
.~Our Foremost Electrician 1894
.Otis T. Carr~~~~~~knew Tesla
.Margaret Storm~~.~loved Tesla
.Arthur H. Matthews~.knew Tesla
last update
16 May 2014 ~ 16:50
site creator & host
Curtis Cooperman
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