TESLA MEMORIAL SOCIETY, INC.
21 Maddaket, Southwyck Village
Scotch Plains, New Jersey 07076
Czech Ministry of Education To Produce Video Program
On Nikola Tesla
The Czech Republic Ministry of Education has arranged to produce a short
video on the life of the famous inventor, Nikola Tesla. The video is to be
shown to Czech students at the High School level to familiarize them on the
accomplishments of this giant of electrical science who received a substantial
part of his higher education in Prague. Just as in the United States, the
Ministry had become aware that very few young students knew of Teslas
fundamental contributions to modern society through his seminal work on
electricity and radio.
A crew from Fontis TV Production, Prague, arrived in the United States
in early May 2002, to produce segments for the video. Travel details and visit
arrangements were coordinated by the Society. Their schedule included location
work in Manhattan, Scotch Plains and Niagara Falls (New York and Ontario,
Society Executive Secretary William Terbo guided the Fontis crew in
Manhattan and provided on-camera descriptions of the Tesla sites. Visited were:
- The Radio Wave Building, 49 West 27th Street, (now a
professional office building, but formally The Gerlach a, then new, luxury
residential hotel) where Tesla lived from 1892 through 1899. A plaque
commemorating Tesla was installed in 1977. The modern lobby features four large
photographic murals including two concerning early electric energy themes.
- The Hotel New Yorker, Eighth Avenue at 34th Street,
Teslas residence from 1934 to his passing in January, 1943. While the
Hotel has had many redecorations and modernizations, the lobby foyer still
retains many of the luxury details that were present in Teslas time. A
large plaque commemorating Tesla was installed on the 34th Street
exterior of the Hotel in 2001.
- Nikola Tesla Corner, Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) at
40th Street, dedicated by the City of New York in 1994. Also visited
was 8 West 40th Street, a modernized office building where Tesla
maintained offices from 1915 through 1925. (Bryant Park, between Sixth Avenue
and the Main New York Public Library from 40th to 42nd
Streets, is the site where Tesla most famously fed his pigeons.)
- The Cathedral of St. John the Devine, Amsterdam Avenue at
112th Street, where the State Funeral for Tesla was held in 1943.
Among the over 2,000 attending were prominent representatives the international
cultural, scientific and governmental communities. (A New York landmark and
still under construction after 110 years, St. John the Devine is the largest
Gothic Cathedral in the world.)
The Fontis crew conducted an on-camera interview with William Terbo,
grandnephew of Nikola Tesla, at his home (and Society headquarters) in Scotch
Plains, New Jersey (New York City Metropolitan Area). They also reviewed
memorabilia, documents and photographs from the Society and Terbo personal
Society Executive Board member Mr. Dan Mrkich guided the Fontis group at
Niagara Falls and provided detail background of the sites. Visited were:
- Nikola Tesla statue in the Goat Island State Park, prominently
located in an area between the American and International Horseshoe
Falls. The statue was the 1976 U.S. Bicentennial gift of the Yugoslav
Government to the American Government. Tesla is the only personage represented
in the Park. Other plaques and structures recognizing the original 1890-96
Niagara Falls AC power construction are located adjacent to the Tesla statue.
- Niagara Falls Ontario for historical markers and superior views of
the Niagara Falls. Unfortunately, a proposed tour of the 1905 Canadian power
plant in (reserve) operation could not be accomplished at this time due to
heightened security measures.
- Niagara River on the Maid of the Mists. This boat tour
approaches the foot of Niagara Falls from the river level and can provide
dramatic effect for the video.
The Fotis crew is scheduled to visit the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade
in September to conclude segments on the Czech Republic Ministry of Education
By mutual understanding, Fotis TV Productions is to provide several
items including appropriate video end credits as specified by the Society and
to provide two copies of the completed video (in North American VHS format) for
Society archival use.