We have many a monument of past ages; we have the palaces and pyramids, the temples of the Greek and the cathedrals of Christendom. In them is exemplified the power of men, the greatness of nations, the love of art and religious devotion. But the monument at Niagara has something of its own, more in accord with our present thoughts and tendencies. It is a monument worthy of our scientific age, a true monument of enlightenment and of peace. It signifies the subjugation of natural forces to the service of man, the discontinuance of barbarous methods, the relieving of millions from want and suffering.
The perfect purity of the air, the unequaled beauty of the sky, the imposing sight of a high mountain range, the quiet and restfulness of the place—all around contributed to make the conditions for scientific observation ideal.
The evolution of electric power from the discovery of Faraday in 1831 to the initial great installation of the Tesla polyphase system in 1896 [at Niagara Falls] is undoubtedly the most tremendous event in all engineering history.
It is true that some of them have had to do with wireless telegraphy and that in addition to the tower and poles there is a hole dug in the ground. This is 150 feet deep and is used in these experiments. The people about there, had they been awake instead of asleep, at other times would have seen even stranger things. Some day, but not at this time, I shall make an announcement of something that I never once dreamed of.
It is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering — only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world.
With a different form of wireless instrument devised by me some years ago it was found practicable to locate a body of metallic ore below the ground, and it seems that a submarine could be similarly detected.
We build but to tear down. Most of our work and resource is squandered. Our onward march is marked by devastation. Everywhere there is an appalling loss of time, effort and life. A cheerless view, but true.
Most certainly, some planets are not inhabited, but others are, and among these there must exist life under all conditions and phases of development.
There is no conflict between the ideal of religion and the ideal of science, but science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without.
If this does not appeal to you sufficiently to recognize in me a discoverer of principles, do me, at least, the justice of calling me an "inventor of some beautiful pieces of electrical apparatus.