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Nikola Tesla - Wardenclyffe Tower

Nikola Tesla - Wardenclyffe Tower

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Wardenclyffe Tower (1901–1917) also known as the Tesla Tower, was an early wireless telecommunications tower designed by Nikola Tesla and intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and to demonstrate the transmission of power without interconnecting wires. The core facility was not completed due to financial problems and was never fully operational.
The tower was named after James S. Warden, a western lawyer and banker who had purchased land for the endeavor in Shoreham, Long Island, about sixty miles from Manhattan. Here he built a resort community known as Wardenclyffe-On-Sound. Warden believed that with the implementation of Tesla's "world system" a "Radio City" would arise in the area. He offered Tesla 200 acres (81 ha) of land close to a railway line on which to build his wireless telecommunications tower and laboratory facility.
Wardenclyffe Tower (1901–1917) also known as the Tesla Tower, was an early wireless telecommunications tower designed by Nikola Tesla and intended for commercial trans-Atlantic wireless telephony, broadcasting, and to demonstrate the transmission of power without interconnecting wires. The core facility was not completed due to financial problems and was never fully operational.
The tower was named after James S. Warden, a western lawyer and banker who had purchased land for the endeavor in Shoreham, Long Island, about sixty miles from Manhattan. Here he built a resort community known as Wardenclyffe-On-Sound. Warden believed that with the implementation of Tesla's "world system" a "Radio City" would arise in the area. He offered Tesla 200 acres (81 ha) of land close to a railway line on which to build his wireless telecommunications tower and laboratory facility.

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Published by: THE NIKOLA TESLA INSTITUTE on Feb 07, 2013
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Wardenclyffe Tower 
For the Allan Holdsworth album, seeWardenclyffe Tower (album).
Wardenclyffe Tower 
(1901–1917) also known as the
Tesla Tower 
, was anearlywireless telecommunications tower designed byNikola Teslaand intended for commercial trans-Atlanticwireless telephony,broadcasting, and to demonstrate thetransmission of power without interconnecting wires. The corefacility was not completed due to financial problems and was never fullyoperational.The tower was named after James S. Warden, a westernlawyer and banker   who had purchased land for the endeavor inShoreham,Long Island, about sixty miles fromManhattan. Here he built a resort community known asWardenclyffe-On-Sound. Warden believed that with the implementation of Tesla's "world system" a "Radio City" would arise in the area. He offered Tesla200acres(81ha) of land close to a railway line on which to build his wireless telecommunications tower and laboratory facility.
History
Construction
Nikola Tesla began planning the Wardenclyffe Tower facility ca. 1898 and in1901 construction began on the land near Long Island Sound. Architect  Stanford Whitedesigned the Wardenclyffe facility main building. The tower wasdesigned by W.D. Crow, an associate of White. Funding for Tesla's project wasprovided by influential industrialists and other venture capitalists. The project
 
was initially backed by the wealthyJ. P. Morgan who had invested $150,000 in the facility (more than $3 million in 2009 dollars).In June 1902 Tesla moved his laboratory operations from hisHouston Street laboratory to Wardenclyffe. However in 1903, when the tower structure wasnear completion, it was still not yet functional due to last-minute designchanges. In addition to commercial wireless telecommunications, Teslaintended the tower be used to demonstrate how electrical energy could betransmitted without the need for power lines. A story has arisen that the power consumption could not be metered and Morgan, who could not foresee anyfinancial gain from providing free electricity to everyone, balked. Constructioncosts eventually exceeded the money provided by Morgan and additionalfinanciers were reluctant to come forward (Tesla's other major financier wasJohn Jacob Astor ). By July 1904 Morgan (and the other investors) finallydecided they would not provide any additional financing. Morgan alsodiscouraged other investors from backing the project. In May 1905 Tesla'spatents onalternating current motors and other methods of power transmission expired, halting royalty payments and causing a severe reduction of funding tothe Wardenclyffe Tower. In an attempt to find alternative funding Teslaadvertised the services of the Wardenclyffe facility but he met with littlesuccess. By this time Tesla had also designed theTesla turbineat Wardenclyffeand producedTesla coilsfor sale to various businesses.By 1905, since Tesla could not find any more backers, most of the site's activityhad to be shut down. Employees were laid off in 1906, but parts of the buildingremained in use until 1907. In 1908, the property was foreclosed for the firsttime. Tesla procured a new mortgage fromGeorge C. Boldt, proprietor of theWaldorf-Astoria Hotel. The facility was partially abandoned around 1911, andthe tower structure deteriorated. Between 1912 and 1915, Tesla's financesunraveled, and when the funders wanted to know how they were going to
 
recapture their investments, Tesla was unable to give satisfactory answers.Newspaper headlines of the time labeled it "
Tesla's million-dollar folly 
." Thefacility's main building was breached and vandalized around this time. Collapseof the Wardenclyffe project may have contributed to the mental breakdownTesla experienced during this period. Coupled to the personal tragedy of Wardenclyffe was the 1895 fire at 35 South 5th Avenue, New York, in thebuilding which housed Tesla'slaboratory. In this fire, he lost much of hisequipment, notes and documents. This produced a state of severe depressionfor Tesla.
Post-Tesla era
In 1915, legal ownership of the Wardenclyffe property was transferred toGeorge Boldtof theWaldorf-Astoria Hotelfor a $20,000 debt (about $400,000 in 2009 dollars).
 In September 1917 duringWorld War I, the tower was blown up withdynamiteon orders of the United States Government which fearedGerman spies were using it and that it could be used as a landmark for German submarines.
 Tesla was not in New York during the tower's destruction.George Boldt wished to make the property available for sale. On April 20, 1922Tesla lost an appeal of judgment versus his backers in the second foreclosure.This effectively locked Tesla out of any future development of the facility. In1925, the property ownership was transferred to Walter L. Johnson of Brooklyn.On March 6, 1939, Plantacres, Inc. purchased the facility's land andsubsequently leased it to Peerless Photo Products, Inc. AGFA Corporation bought the property from Peerless and is the current owner. The main buildingremains standing to this day. Agfa used the site from 1969 to 1992 then closedthe facility. The site has undergone a final cleanup of waste produced during itsPhoto Products era. The clean up was conducted under the scrutiny of the NewYork State Department of Environmental Conservation, and paid for by AGFA.In 2009 they put the property up for sale for $1,650,000. Agfa has advertisedthat the land can “be delivered fully cleared and level.” It says it spent $5 millionthrough September 2008 cleaning up silver andcadmium.
Preservation efforts
On February 14, 1967, thenonprofitpublic benefit corporation BrookhavenTown Historical Trust was established. It selected the Wardenclyffe facility to bedesignated as a historic site and as the first site to be preserved by the Trust onMarch 3, 1967. The Brookhaven Town Historic Trust was rescinded byresolution on February 1, 1972. There were never any appointments made after a legal opinion was received; it was never set up properly. On July 7, 1976, aplaque fromYugoslaviawas installed by representatives from BrookhavenNational Laboratory near the entrance of the building. It reads:IN THIS BUILDINGDESIGNED BY STANFORD WHITE, ARCHITECT
NIKOLA TESLA
BORN SMILJAN, YUGOSLAVIA 1856—DIED NEW YORK, U.S.A. 1943
CONSTRUCTED IN 1901-1905 WARDENCLYFFE

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