The original cover art for Margaret Cheney's Tesla - Man out of Time

1895« Previous year|Next year »

March 13th, 1895: 5th Ave. Lab Burns

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?"

April 15th, 1895: 1st Niagara Generator Tested

The first large generator of the Niagara Falls Power Plant, which bore Tesla's name and patent numbers, was ran at full speed, 250 revolutions per minute, and proved quite satisfactory.

April, 1895: Tesla Article In Century

Thomas Commerford Martin's article "Tesla's Oscillator and Other Inventions" is published in "The Century Magazine."

December 28th, 1895: Röntgen Discovers X-Rays

Tesla had originally noticed what he described as "a very special radiation" years earlier when working his "carbon-button" lamp. He produced pictures he called "shadowgraphs" and had performed numerous experiments with them up until the fire at his lab. Upon learning of Röntgen's discovery, Tesla wrote him and sent some of the pictures recovered from the fire. Röntgen replied and asked Tesla how he produced them.

1895: Lab Opened On Houston St.

After fire destroyed the 5th Ave. lab, Tesla was allowed to use Thomas Edison's workshop at Llewellyn Park, New Jersey, but this was only a temporary solution. Within a few weeks, Tesla had rented a laboratory below Greenwich Village, near Chinatown, at 46 and 48 Houston St. This building is now the home of Soho Billiards.

An interior view of Tesla's lab on Houston St. in New York City.
An interior view of Tesla's lab on Houston St. in New York City.
An interior view of Tesla's lab on Houston St. in New York City. Tesla performing a wireless electricity experiment in his lab. Tesla's magnifying oscillation transformer in action in his lab on Houston St. in New York City. One of the earliest x-ray photographs, this one of Tesla's hand. The Century Magazine featuring Tesla's Oscillator and Other Inventions article. An x-ray photograph (called "shadowgraph" by Tesla) of Tesla's foot." Tesla's magnifier in action producing a brilliant display in his lab on Houston St. in New York City. The South 5th Ave. fire. Wilhelm Röntgen, the physicist credited with the discovery of x-rays. Tesla demonstrates electricity conducting through his body.