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Nikola Tesla, the forgotten genius

Located at Kazinczy utca 21, the Tesla Loft awaits guests with a multimedia exhibition that promises to be especially inspiring, which will run from the end of May to early September. Nikola Tesla was born in 1856 in the Croatian territory of the Austrian Empire into a Serbian family. His unique career filled with inventions began in Budapest, for Tesla, following his studies at the universities of Graz and Prague, worked at the Ganz Factory in Budapest from 1880-1882.

It was in Budapest that Tesla met Ferenc Puskás, the younger brother of Tivadar Puskás, who had invented the telephone exchange. Ferenc Puskás got Tesla work at the Hungarian telegraph service, which is where his first invention, the telephone amplifier, saw the light of day. “Budapest, this fantastic city rich with culture and history inspired this brilliant mind,” said Helena Bulaja Madunic´, the curator and concept planner for the “Nikola Tesla – Mind from the Future” exhibit in

Budapest. Tesla also met the technician Antal Szigeti inBudapest, with whom he had a lifelong friendship. They were walking in the City Park in 1882 when Tesla, sitting on a bench, began to draw circles with his cane in the dust: this is when he discovered the principle of the rotating magnetic field, which 14 years later the Westinghouse company used at the world’s first alternating current power plant at Niagara Falls. The Niagara power plant made it possible for alternating current to be efficiently transmitted long distances, thereby changing the world.

Tesla moved from Budapest in 1882 to Paris, where he found work at Continental Edison Co., after which in 1884 he set sail for the United States with only a few cents, a letter of recommendation, a few of his poems and plans for an airplane in his pocket. In the “new world” he patented his inventions one after another. He achieved rapid success in the development of electric motors, multi-phase generators and energy converters. Tesla overtook his peers in several areas, such as remote control, power transmission or robotics. For example, in 1896 he patented the radio receiver and published his outlines on the foundations of data transmission.

An eccentric figure, he spoke Serbian, Croatian, Czech, German, Hungarian, Italian and Latin fluently. Tesla was plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias to the end of his life, living under the magic spell of the number 3. Accordingly, the Budapest exhibition is divided into three conceptual and practical spaces. In the “Foyer” visitors are greeted by a cast-iron statue of Tesla. In this same space one can also see Tesla’s six-metre long and one tonne in weight remote controlled boat model, which is “a kind of spatial-sculptural iron outline” of a model of a remote-controlled ship in the future.

In the “new dimension” named “Piano Nobile”, visitors can gain a glimpse into Tesla’s engineering achievements through an interactive display and can encounter those inventions that have inspired numerous pop art artists across the world.

The heart of the exhibition will be the “Tesla Room”, in which the exhibition reveals Nicola Tesla’s “mind from the future”. This magical, 600 square metre space filled with multimedia displays and installations brings to life Tesla’s final conceptual patent, the Thought Projector.

Continuing on in the exhibit hall, visitors will be accompanied by Tesla’s friends and contemporaries, who enliven the stages of this genius inventor’s personal life and desire for creativity. By purchasing a combined ticket, the Electrotechnical Museum’s permanent exhibition can also be visited in addition to the Tesla exhibition.

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Text: József Gyüre
Credit: Tesla Exhibition

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