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BooksFour-page letter autographed by Nikola Tesla sold at auction for $340,000

Four-page letter autographed by Nikola Tesla sold at auction for $340,000

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Nikola Tesla was one of the most prominent inventors in the world, and proof of the Tesla name’s weight was this week’s Remarkable Rarities (RRAuctions) auction, when Tesla’s autographed four-page letter sold for $341,295.

These days, the word Tesla is known as the brand of electric vehicles that conquers the world, but 120 years ago, Nikola Tesla was one of the ingenious inventors on Earth. A testament to Tesla’s high profile was the Remarkable Rarities (RRAuctions) auction, which fetched $341,295 for a four-page autographed letter this week.

The letter was written to New York Sun editor Paul Dana on February 25, 1901, in which Tesla discusses his place among the most important American inventors, apparently hoping to get a few columns in the newspaper, which at that time was an important part of the media space, along with such publications. like the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune. The New York Sun was published from 1833 to 1950.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

 “My dear Mr Dana,

“It was very sweet! The telephone has always fascinated me with its beauty, but the manifestations of power in a rotating magnetic field impressed me even more. The incandescent lamp, it seems to me, is devoid of any poetry. You give me an advantage in many ways. Bell had Reis’s telephone in front of him (1834), which transmitted musical sounds, and was unlucky in a patent dispute that claimed that if the screw in Reis’s telephone were tightened enough, then Bell’s telephone would be the same.On the other hand, Edison had King’s patents and Starr on an incandescent lamp (1848?) I was more fortunate than both of them, because before my invention the rotating field did not exist.

Interestingly, Bell practically stopped at his fundamental patent, while Edison and I developed our inventions in many directions. In practical terms, Edison’s work should come first. I speak on this subject freely, feeling confident in your friendship. However, there is another advantage in my favor. A telephone means convenience, an incandescent lamp means comfort, but energy means bread and butter. The amount of capital now directed in this direction is enormous. With, say, ten thousand dollars, you can do a lot in installing telephones or electric lighting, but in the transmission of electricity, such an amount is just a drop in the ocean.

The telephone will forever remain useful, as will my invention, because it allows the energy of the sun to be used in the simplest and most economical way, and also because it is difficult to imagine a simpler machine than my armature motor, driven without mechanical and electrical contact. But the incandescent lamp would soon be doomed, and Edison’s work in this field would only be of historical significance.

Suppose now that my light beats Edison’s light and that with my wireless transmission system I get by without wires in telephone communications – what a good editorial you would write!


N. Tesla”

photo Page 4 of a four-page letter autographed by Nikola Tesla, for which $341,295 was offered at RR Auctions on January 12, 2022

Source: Remarkable Rarities Auctions

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