Priceless Nikola Tesla Artifact Stolen from Wardenclyffe

cameron's picture
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Commemorative Bronze Plaque Donated
Commemorative Bronze Plaque Donated

According to a recent post on the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe Facebook page maintained by Jane Alcorn, President of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, the bronze commemorative plaque that was commissioned and donated by the Yugoslavian government on the 120th anniversary of Tesla's birth and placed near the entrance of the Wardenclyffe laboratory has been stolen.

Some have speculated that the thieves may have been taking any valuable metals to simply sell for scrap and were ignorant to the true value of the plaque. It would be an extremely selfish act for a Tesla enthusiast to have been involved only to further his personal collection. After all that has been done to save Wardenclyffe and the significant progress that has recently been made, I'm sure this comes as a discouraging blow.

Anyone who may have tips or information may contact the Suffolk County Police Department at (631) 852-8700 or email the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.

The inscription on the plaque reads, “IN THIS BUILDING DESIGNED BY STANFORD WHITE, ARCHITECT NIKOLA TESLA BORN SMILJAN, YUGOSLAVIA 1856, DIED NEW YORK, U.S.A. 1943. CONSTRUCTED IN 1901-1905 WARDENCLYFFE, HUGE RADIO STATION WITH ANTENNA TOWER 187 FT. HIGH (DESTROYED 1917), WHICH WAS TO SERVE AS HIS FIRST WORLD COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM. IN MEMORY OF 120TH ANNIVERSARY OF TESLA'S BIRTH AND 200TH ANNIVERSARY OF U.S.A. INDEPENDENCE - July 10, 1976”

Hopefully someone will be able to intervene and the plaque will be recovered. There is no word of a reward or any other information at this time. This post will be updated as additional news is made available.

Comments (4)

JeffBehary's picture

This is madness. Has Jane or anyone local in Shoreham tried to contact the local scrap metal dealers to see if its been received? Where I work is a man who repairs odds and ends for Palm Beach County here in South Florida. Its sounds unreal, but he has replaced over a half-dozen aluminum guard rails on county bridges that have been cut for scrap. (How can someone saw apart part of a bridge and not get caught? And for what - less than a dollar??) He has replaced copper lines running to one county building air conditioner no less than 3 times in 6 months. People have actually spent time digging it up to scrap it. Its all disgusting. People are quick to blame the economy, but the lack of morality and real values in society as a whole is frightening.

I've recently learned of several X-Ray archives that are being scrapped. Noone cares about history enough to save the machines, and those of us who offer to take them and preserve them are denied because it means unneccessary paperwork for the people involved. Even if money is offered, it requires effort on someone's behalf who does not want to be bothered. Who knows how many early high frequency coils could be in these archives, and how much priceless history is lost? Some machines were donated to these organizations from family members of the inventors. Its a crime.

Julianne's picture

This is absolutely unacceptable that people do this, but it is not a surprise, but yet I am in shock because that plaque was placed at Wardenclyffe to commemorate Nikola's work there. Why are people so heartless. He gave so much to society and received little recognition and then there are heartless people going around doing this. They have no respect for history.

As a maritime historian, I saw the exact same thing happen at the Titanic wrecksite where a bronze plaque was placed in memory of those lost in the disaster and someone had stolen the plaque during a deep dive...it is appalling that people have little respect.

I hope the plaque can be recovered and placed back at Wardenclyffe where it belongs. I hope when police find out who done this they will press charges against them. It is definitely sad news.

JaneA's picture

A short update: there have been contacts made with scrap yards, metal recyclers, etc., and others who might receive the plaque for recycling/sale. An article has appeared this week in our local press to encourage the return of the plaque.
A supporter, who will for now remain anonymous, has offered a $2000 reward for the safe return of the plaque. I'll keep you updated when anything happens.

On another front, our nomination of Nikola Tesla to the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame was successful, and his posthumous induction will take place in March!

iogene's picture

What Nikola Tesla has done to lighten the burden of Man!

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