All currents lead to you, Mr. Tesla

 

Nikola Tesla

A while back, I was reading “M Train,” by Patti Smith, and I found a statue of Nikola Tesla in there. She called him the patron saint of alternating current. I’m no Tesla scholar, but lately I heard a bit more about him, and he seemed a curious sort, so I went to visit his statue. Tesla was an amazingly productive and very influential inventor, engineer, and physicist, born in what is now Croatia in 1856. He moved to the US at the age of 28 and lived here until his death at age 86. After working first on telephone systems and then for Thomas Edison, Tesla started an electric lighting company, and later pioneered the use of alternating current (instead of the direct current insisted upon by his former employer, Edison.)

The church outside which the statue stands is dedicated to St. Sava, coincidentally known as “the illuminator.” He is the patron saint of Serbs, and is considered the founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Serbian church moved into this building in 1944, and it immediately became the center of the Serbian community on the east coast, which had not had a Cathedral before that time.

As I’m finishing the writing and researching of this, terrible news: the church burned today in a devastating fire. These photos were made on April 29, and the fire was today, May 1, 2016.

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These photographs were made using a camera design created by Ray Panduro and modified by me to have a shorter focal length, and to make round negatives on its 120 film. I just can’t leave well enough alone.

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One thought on “All currents lead to you, Mr. Tesla

  1. oh my gosh, so sad about the church! I saw the headline at the airport in JFK. It’s amazing that you shot this a couple of days before!!

    Like

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