A fire broke out in the basement of 33-35 South 5th Ave. (now West Broadway) and swept through the entire structure, including Tesla's laboratory, which occupied the entire fourth floor of the six-story building. All of his hundreds of invention models, plans, notes, laboratory data, tools, photographs, valued at $50,000, were destroyed. Tesla is quoted by "The New York Times" as saying, "I am in too much grief to talk. What can I say?"
The practical success of an idea, irrespective of its inherent merit, is dependent on the attitude of the contemporaries. If timely it is quickly adopted; if not, it is apt to fare like a sprout lured out of the ground by warm sunshine, only to be injured and retarded in its growth by the succeeding frost.