Bernard Carlson Tesla Lecture and Book Signing At Spark Museum

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When:
September 15, 2013 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where:
Spark Museum Event & Performance Center
1312 Bay Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
USA
Cost:
FREE (with Museum Admission)
Contact:
John Jenkins
360-738-3886

Spark MuseumDid Tesla really invent a death ray? Could he have provided unlimited free energy to the world? Did he really fall in love with a laser-eyed pigeon? There are many rumors and myths surrounding Nikola Tesla, and biographer Bernard Carlson will separate fact from fiction on Sunday, September 15 at 4PM at the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention. The event is free with Museum admission.

Surrounded by a variety of jaw-dropping devices, including the MegaZapper, one of the largest Tesla coils in the country, W. Bernard Carlson discusses his new book Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age.

He places the legendary inventor within the cultural and technological context of his time and focuses on his inventions themselves as well as the creation and maintenance of his celebrity. Drawing on original documents from Tesla’s private and public life, Carlson shows how he was an “idealist” inventor who sought the perfect experimental realization of a great idea or principle, and who skillfully sold his inventions to the public through myth making and illusion. This major biography sheds new light on Tesla’s visionary approach to invention and the business strategies behind his most important technological breakthroughs.

A book signing will follow the lecture.


Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard CarlsonNikola Tesla was a major contributor to the electrical revolution that transformed daily life at the turn of the twentieth century. His inventions, patents, and theoretical work formed the basis of modern AC electricity, and contributed to the development of radio and television. Like his competitor Thomas Edison, Tesla was one of America’s first celebrity scientists, enjoying the company of New York high society and dazzling the likes of Mark Twain with his electrical demonstrations. An astute self-promoter and gifted showman, he cultivated a public image of the eccentric genius. Even at the end of his life when he was living in poverty, Tesla still attracted reporters to his annual birthday interview, regaling them with claims that he had invented a particle-beam weapon capable of bringing down enemy aircraft.

Plenty of biographies glamorize Tesla and his eccentricities, but until now none has carefully examined what, how, and why he invented. In this groundbreaking book, W. Bernard Carlson demystifies the legendary inventor, placing him within the cultural and technological context of his time, and focusing on his inventions themselves as well as the creation and maintenance of his celebrity. Drawing on original documents from Tesla’s private and public life, Carlson shows how he was an “idealist” inventor who sought the perfect experimental realization of a great idea or principle, and who skillfully sold his inventions to the public through mythmaking and illusion.

This major biography sheds new light on Tesla’s visionary approach to invention and the business strategies behind his most important technological breakthroughs.

W. Bernard Carlson is professor of science, technology, and society in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and professor of history at the University of Virginia. His books include Technology in World History and Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the Rise of General Electric, 1870-1900.

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