Updated: Mon, Dec 9, 2013, 1:51 pm
Uploaded: Fri, Dec 6, 2013, 3:48 pm
New Tesla statue unveiled
Palo Alto resident mounts campaign for privately funded sculpture of inventor
A statue of the inventor Nikola Tesla -- equipped with free Wi-Fi and a time capsule to be opened in 2043 -- was unveiled in Palo Alto on Dec. 7.
Resident Dorrian Porter thought the perfect symbol of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Silicon Valley would be the early 1900s inventor, who is also the namesake of local electric-car company Tesla Motors.
Porter commissioned Menlo Park artist Terry Guyer to design a bronze statue of the inventor, who was credited for making huge strides in the development of alternating current and wireless electricity.
Palo Alto's public art is often on the receiving end of scoffs and chuckles, with aesthetic sensibilities that range from eclectic to eccentric. Between a giant egg and a running girl with a car for a head, there are many examples of Palo Alto's avant-garde artistic leanings. But the Tesla sculpture is an immensely practical piece of art being brought to the city without funding from the city's Public Art Commission.
Porter launched a successful Kickstarter.com campaign to raise $127,000 from 722 donors in 30 days, one of whom -- an anonymous family foundation -- put in $20,000 at the 11th hour to push the project over its goal.
Local Palo Alto developer Harold Hohbach has provided the commercial property at 260 Sheridan Ave., where the statue is situated, Porter said.
Porter founded Northern Imagination LLC this year to enable the pursuit of creative projects, ideas and inventions. The company's goal is to advance new ideas in any area that can impact the well being and happiness of people, especially involving film or photography and ideally related to education and poverty, according to the company website.
Northern Imagination produced a short animated video to imagine what it would be like for Tesla to pitch modern venture capitalists. The video spread rapidly on social media, particularly among the startup community, generating more than 230,000 views in a short space of time.
The inclusion of free Wi-Fi is fitting for Tesla, who some say dreamed of creating a more efficient system of wireless power for the entire planet. Tesla's inventions are widely credited as a critical part of the foundation of modern electricity transfer and wireless data transmission, Porter noted.
"This unique project pays respect to a great inventor who never had the historical recognition he deserved. But it also is intended to inspire the entrepreneurs who come to the Silicon Valley to think big and selflessly -- as Tesla did -- on important opportunities like energy and wireless. The free exchange of information and affordable access to sustainable energy have the potential to solve the critical issues of poverty and education, and inspire peace," Porter said.
Supporting Silicon Valley companies of the project include GoAnimate, Nvidia, First Republic Bank (Menlo Park), and TVU networks.
More details can be found at www.teslastatue.com.
Posted by Miran Perhavec
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2014 at 6:33 am
I am the huge Tesla fan and I study Tesla's life and work for years now. I am writing on this board, although I am not from your neighborhood, not even from USA, but from Europe, Maribor, Slovenia (near to Croatia, where Tesla was born). Tesla has been living and working in our city (his first unofficial job) for almost half of the year, in 1878 - 1879.
Dear Dorrian Porter, I was amazed to find out about this project of yours. THANK YOU a thousand times for your amazing idea, inspiration and all you did for realization of this wonderful gesture.
I see above, there are so many nice words about Tesla and his work. But also so many totally wrong conceptions and statements, which shows nothing but lack of real knowledge of Tesla. To those, which see nothing in Tesla and ask himself, why to make a statue to such man, I would like to say the following:
Dear fellows. Here in Europe and my country, we all consider your town a kind of a technological center of the world, where knowledge and inventions are daily reality. By reading some of the above, very sad statements of yours, I realize a lots of you has really no idea about things you are talking about (luckily and obviously, there are also quite a lot of people among you, which knows much better and are well educated about Tesla). I don't blame you. It is not your fault, but PLEASE. . . We are not in the 19. century any more. You can read, you have access to internet and libraries, JUST READ AND THAN THINK WITH YOUR OWN HEAD. Therefore, I also would really like to urge all of you, including all citizens of USA, to read at least one book about Tesla (the best is to read e.g. biography of John J. O'Neill or Margaret Cheney, Mark Seifer, or books of Oliver Nichelson or Thomas Bearden (these are all and only some of your American biographers and writers who wrote about Tesla) or even auto biography by name "My inventions"). If you do that, I promise you that you are going to find out by yourself, that alternating current, AC generator, AC brushless motor, transformers, radio, wireless telegraph, remote control, HF lightening bulbs, X-rays, transmission of electricity on long distances etc., are only THE BEGINNING of work and accomplishments this man did. Alone AC generators, motors and related complete poly-phasic system of energy transmission on long distances, were enough for him to start the 2nd world industrial revolution, by himself - ALONE!! That is already enough to make him a statue or memorial in every civilized city of the planet.
But be prepared, if you decide to read about him, you are going to discover a whole, whole lot more and will remain speechless. If it would be by his choice, this world would have his wireless transmission of energy in whole planet and free energy for everyone, already 109 years ago. And there is still much, much more (dynamic theory of gravitation, flying disks, theory of ether which makes Einstein's theory of relativity to looks like a story for children).
Tesla has 297 officially registered patents in whole world (in 26 countries) of which the most (112) in the USA!!) and about 1000 inventions. But he wasn't only the inventor! First of all, he was the researcher, pioneer and great scientist, the biggest expert of nature and the biggest genius the planet ever have had. He is in fact much more important than Einstein, who is known all over the world, but who got recognition (pressed by politicians) he does not deserve.
So, you will find by yourself that he wasn't only the inventor, who gave us an amazing number of practical devices, which we use in our daily life, but that he left such a big scientific heritage and knowledge, which we should and could still use today. He said himself, that he has been living not for the present, but for the future (since he was at least 150 years ahead of his time!), because he knew, that he could in not way be understood in his life time.
Now his time is coming (as he predicted). The whole world should know about Tesla and the whole population should be grateful to this unbelievable man. You are lucky to had him in in the USA, where he spent 2/3 of his life time. The thing, he was the most proud of, was (ironically) the American citizenship, although, he belong to whole humanity.