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Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about the Shoreham, New York tower. Tesla Tower, was an early experimental wireless transmission station designed and built by Nikola Tesla in Shoreham, New York in 1901-1902. In an attempt to satisfy Tesla’s debts, the tower was demolished for scrap in 1917 and the property taken in foreclosure in 1922. For 50 years, Wardenclyffe was a processing facility producing photography supplies.
Stanford White remains standing to this day. In the 1980s and 2000s, hazardous waste from the photographic era was cleaned up, and the site was sold and cleared for new development. A grassroots campaign to save the site succeeded in purchasing the property in 2013, with plans to build a future museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla. Tesla’s Magnifying “Apparatus for transmitting electrical energy” U. Tesla’s design for Wardenclyffe grew out of his experiments beginning in the early 1890s.
His primary goal in these experiments was to develop a new wireless power transmission system. Tesla was back in New York in January 1900. He had convinced his friend Robert Underwood Johnson, editor of The Century Magazine, to allow him to publish an article covering his work and Johnson had even sent a photographer to Colorado Springs the previous year to photograph Tesla’s experiments. Westinghouse suggested Tesla pursue some of the rich venture capitalists.
In several discussions Tesla assured Morgan his system was superior to, and based on patents that superseded, Marconi and other wireless inventors and that it would far outpace the performance of its main competitor, the transatlantic telegraph cable. Tesla began working on his wireless station immediately. As soon as the contract was signed with Morgan in March 1901 he placed an order for generators and transformers with the Westinghouse Electric Company. Tesla’s plans changed radically after he read a June 1901 Electrical Review article by Marconi titled SYNTONIC WIRELESS TELEGRAPH. Italian inventor’s use of a “Tesla coil” “connected to the Earth” led Tesla to believe Marconi was copying his earth resonance system to do it. In July 1901 Tesla informed Morgan of his planned changes to the project and the need for much more money to build it.
He explained the more grandiose plan as a way to leap ahead of competitors and secure much larger profits on the investment. With Tesla basically proposing a breach of contract, Morgan refused to lend additional funds and demanded an account of money already spent. Despite Morgan stating no additional funds would be supplied, Tesla continued on with the project. He explored the idea of building several small towers or a tower 300 feet and even 600 feet tall in order to transmit the type of low-frequency long waves that Tesla thought were needed to resonate the Earth. 65 miles from New York City in Shoreham on Long Island Sound from land developer James S. Warden who was building a resort community known as Wardenclyffe-On-Sound. Artistic representation of the station completed, including the tower structure.
The structure was such as to allow each piece to be taken out and replaced as necessary. The main building occupied the rest of the facility grounds. Stanford White designed the Wardenclyffe facility main building. It included a laboratory area, instrumentation room, boiler room, generator room and machine shop.
There was a great deal of construction under the tower to establish some form of ground connection but Tesla and his workers kept the public and the press away from the project so little is known. The Tesla biographer John Joseph O’Neill noted the cupola at the top of the 186 foot tower had a 5-foot hole in its top where ultraviolet lights were to be mounted, perhaps to create an ionized path up through the atmosphere that could conduct electricity. Tesla complained in a letter to White he was facing foreclosure. Tesla’s Wardenclyffe plant on Long Island circa 1902 in partial stage of completion.
There is a coal car parked next to the building. Construction at Wardenclyffe continued through 1902 and in June of that year Tesla began moving his laboratory operations from 46 East Houston Street laboratory to the 94-foot-square brick building at Wardenclyffe. By the end of 1902 the tower reached full height of 187 feet. What Tesla was up to at Wardenclyffe and the site itself was generally kept from the public. Tesla continued to write to Morgan asking the investor to reconsider his position on the contract and invest the additional funds the project needed.