Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla Articles

Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Tesla and Telegraphy

November 27th, 1901

Transmundane Messages from Wardencliffe [sic]

Progress of Preparations — Powerhouse, Tower and Machinery

Since Mr. Tesla's purchase of land at Wardencliffe [sic], Long Island, for a wireless telegraph station last summer, much progress has been made with his preparations. It is his intention not only to send messages from that point, but also to have a suitable laboratory for experimental work and a factory for the manufacture of instruments. After the system is once in operation, of course, it will be desirable to supply the requisite apparatus for equipping other stations. This, in the main, will be made at Mr. Tesla's own shops.

In designing the plant, therefore, both the needs of the future factory and laboratory, as well as the operation of the Wardencliffe [sic] telegraph station, have been kept in view. The principal building, in which power will be developed, has now been practically completed, and steam boilers and engines are on the spot, being installed as fast as possible. Owing to a variety of unforeseen causes, vexatious delays have been experienced. These have greatly tried Mr. Tesla's patience, although he takes such annoyances philosophically. For the operation of the instruments at the station he estimates that a hundred horsepower will be sufficient. To a novice this amount may seem excessive, but it must be remembered that Mr. Tesla expects to make his impulses felt at a distance of thousands of miles. Hence to his own mind this appears like a modest provision, though it has been adopted after elaborate calculation and experiment. It should be added that in order to admit of occasional change from boiler and engine to another, this part of the plant will be duplicated at the outset.

The electrical machinery which is to be set up at Wardencliffe [sic] has not yet arrived, but will be put in place as soon as delivered. The dynamo can be made by outsiders. One very important instrument, known as a Tesla coil, or transformer, will be built in part by the inventor himself, and this will embody a number of recent improvements. All of the apparatus here mentioned will be installed at the surface of the earth.

Another feature of the Wardencliffe [sic] equipment will be a tower of 150 feet high. At the present time the foundations are being laid. In the mean time the tower is being constructed in separate sections, away from the site on which it is eventually to rise. It is hoped that within three or four weeks the erection of that structure may be begun. It should then go ahead rapidly, although another month may possibly elapse before its completion. In view of the many delays already encountered, Mr. Tesla is exceedingly cautious about making predictions, even to himself. He also prefers not to go into details about the tower, although to some extent its function is indicated in his patents. There is a certain mathematical relation between the length of an upright conductor connected with the apparatus for developing Hertz waves and the length of the waves themselves. Then, too, some of the electricians who have engaged in this class of work have utilized an upright conductor for obtaining a storage of energy or “capacity.”

Mr. Tesla yesterday described the operation of telegraphy itself in something like these terms: “The current which I will use will be of the familiar alternating type. The energy which is generated in that form will be stored in a condenser, but after its discharge therefrom the intensity of the vibrations will be magnified ten thousand times. These vibrations will be of the kind best calculated for transmission through the earth, which is my real conductor. The energy thus developed will diffuse itself in all directions, but will tend to spread over the earth's surface, penetrating to a depth of four or five feet. At the receiving station I will provide means for magnifying the force of the incoming, but much weakened, vibrations a quarter of a million times.”

When asked about his arrangements for having his first few messages received at some other place, Mr. Tesla preferred not to go into particulars, although he says that he has practically perfected his plans. The suggestion having been made to him that perhaps the Eiffel Tower might serve his purpose, he laughed and shook his head. He intimated that there were much better places. Although a tower is used at his transmitting station, the apparatus is really at the surface of the earth. In like manner the vibrations, after a long journey through the crust of the globe, would probably be more perceptible at sea level than at elevation.

Wardencliffe [sic] is on the north shore of Long Island, eight or nine miles beyond Port Jefferson, and sixty-five or sixty-six from Brooklyn. A branch of the Long Island Railway extends through it to Wading River. There is a station at Wardencliffe [sic].


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