William (Bill) C. Wysock - 1949-2013

cameron's picture
Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
Bill showing off his 13M, one of the world's largest Tesla coils.
Bill showing off his 13M, one of the world's largest Tesla coils.

The Tesla coil community mourns the loss of another legend. Mr. William (Bill) C. Wysock passed away on Friday, July 19th, 2013.

Bill leaves behind a legacy as one of the pioneers of modern Tesla coil design and construction. His coils have been featured in movies and TV shows since the late 1970s and are still in use today. One of Bill's greatest contributions to Tesla coil building was the use of large or oversized top-loads called "toroids" which greatly improved performance. Prior to this, most coil designs used small spheres or doorknobs as top-loads. Bill was mentored by, and was close friends with, the late Kenneth Strickfaden, who is widely recognized as the original master of high-voltage special effects.

I first met Bill at a Tesla conference on Long Island back in 2006. He and I had been corresponding via email for years regarding Tesla and Tesla coil building. I considered Bill a kindred spirit because like me, he was a Tesla historian and wanted to see Tesla receive the credit he deserved. I had the honor of visiting Bill at his home in California back in 2010. He and his wife Francis were gracious and made me feel very welcome. I felt, and still feel, very privileged to have been invited to his home and to call him a friend.

Bill, from myself and the entire Tesla coil community, know that we're grateful for your efforts and that you will be missed.

Cameron B. Prince
Tesla Universe Webmaster

Comments (4)

Rodney's picture

He truly was the father of modern tesla coiling.

KF6OZF's picture

Bill was unique. He was not only an engineering genius and an expert on everything "Tesla," but he was a friend, a "ham" buddy, and a very kind person. He constantly, over the many years I was privileged to know him, spoke of how much he loved his children and his second wife, Francis. I remember fondly visiting his home in Monrovia to see displays of various Tesla coils. At his funeral, I met people I hadn't seen in years, but who felt, as I did, that Bill deserved our attention and respect.


Bill Wysock and I were both inspired to construct Tesla coils at an early age after visiting the world renowned Griffith Observatory where a large conical Tesla coil was placed in 1936 and still amazing and inspiring audiences today. In 2001, I commissioned Bill to build a larger replica of the Griffith Observatory coil to donate to the Mid-America Science Museum here in Hot Springs, Arkansas where it remains as a Guinness World Record holder as being the most powerful CONICAL coil. Bill also built a smaller replica conical coil for me that we named "Mini-GPO" (Miniature - Griffith Park Observatory). This smaller coil has been demonstrated to 40+ schools (22,000 students), civic organizations and professional organizations during a ten-year period. Yes indeed, Bill Wysock left a very positive legacy! Nikola Tesla would be proud knowing Bill.
Richard Mathias
Founder and President
Tesla Coil Museum Exhibit Program

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