(Thanks, Marilyn!)

22 Responses to “Nikola Tesla's letterhead, slathered in awesome lightningsauce”

  1. optimuz says:

    The ‘Dalek’ is an artists impression of what Wardenclyffe tower would’ve looked like if it was ever finished. Tesla planned to use it to transmit free electricity worldwide – needless to say it was never finished and ended up being blown up!

    I believe there is still a campaign to save the Wardenclyffe site from being leveled/developed.

  2. sergeirichard says:

    I always thought this was the secret inspiration for the Daleks:


    Perhaps it was a combination of the two.

  3. Jack Daniel says:

    Totally reminds me of Apple Computer Co.’s original super ornate crazy logo.

  4. cymk says:


    Bad design aside, I can understand why he would want one of his coolest inventions emblazoned on his letter head; the Tesla Coil effectively just shoots out electricity, how awesome is that?

  5. postjosh says:

    it may be bad design but the font rocks!

  6. Lollie says:

    Clearly Tesla was not only a genius, but he also had a large metal penile sheath he was quite proud of. And with good cause, Geemehnee, jus’ look at that thing!

  7. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Oooh, name those gadgets!

    The center is the WardenClyffe tower, superimposed (and out of scale) over the Colorado Springs coil array in the background with Telsa seated below. These two things were thousands of miles apart in reality.

    The upper right is the radio-controlled underwater boat that Telsa demonstrated in front of a large audienceat Madison Square gardens. No one can duplicate this device today, AFAIK.

    The lower right is the “Bladeless Turbine”, which Telsa submitted for two patents, as a pump and as a turbine. The patent as a pump was denied because the patent office said the use was “obvious” based on the turbine patent. Long after Tesla’s death it was patented as a pump, which provides proof that the patent office has become a mockery of its former self if you needed any.

    The upper left looks like a spark gap device of some kind, perhaps a radio-telegraph transmitter. I dunno, but I think I’ve seen it before.

    The lower left looks like a motor or turbine of some sort, I don’t recognize it.

    • modbob says:

      The upper right is the radio-controlled underwater boat that Telsa demonstrated in front of a large audience at Madison Square gardens. No one can duplicate this device today, AFAIK.

      The minisubs in Cameron’s The Abyss were 1/4 scale electric drive subs, controlled by underwater radio in an uncommissioned reactor vessel in North Carolina… created by Edge Innovations and David Kelley Design (now IDEO) back in the day.

    • cymk says:

      Google says the lower left one is a “original Tesla Electric Motor”

    • IWood says:

      The upper right is the radio-controlled underwater boat that Telsa demonstrated in front of a large audienceat Madison Square gardens. No one can duplicate this device today, AFAIK.

      Yours for $39.50.

    • dculberson says:

      “No one can duplicate this device today, AFAIK.”

      Do you mean exactly duplicate, like, due to missing drawings? I read this:


      and it didn’t seem like a remarkable device other than in the context of its times. But I would love to find out more, if it was special for even today? Tesla is a fascinating figure to me, and some things he did (like the Colorado Springs experiments) are mystifying even now. They’re probably not as impossible as they seem but still .. they make for a good story.

      • Anonymous says:

        The patent drawings still exist; I have a copy somewhere (along with photos of a vandalized shell laying in the debris of the Wardenclyffe lab) but the last time I heard about anyone trying to re-create one from the drawings (which was at least 20 years ago) it did not work.

        You can readily punch radio through water if your transmitter is also under water and you use lots and lots of power. It’s a lot harder to do it from a handheld controller in open air! Time marches on, however…. see iWood’s link.

        Lots of things Tesla did were believed to be fakes or stunts when he did them, and a few are still believed to be (everyone says http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tesla_colorado_adjusted.jpg is a multiple exposure, for instance) but, like Caesar’s rafts, we keep finding out that these “stunts” were real.

        –Ittōsai, from box that can’t login.

  8. Daemon says:

    This just screams “I am the God of Lightning!”
    Which he was.

  9. Michael_GR says:

    Tesla sure was ahead of his time… even in bad graphic design. I thought this kind of montage where you take lots of objects and put them, with no regard to composition, on some abstract background, was a product of the Photoshop era.
    And it’s usually a result of micromanagement by the client. I can see him hovering over the graphic designer’s shoulder and asking to add this, then that, and oh, we mustn’t forget that other thing, because, really, if a letterhead doesn’t represent the entire life work of the person involved, what’s the use of having one?

    • Anonymous says:

      @#1: I completely disagree. For the tools available at the time, this is a pretty hard story to tell graphically speaking. In the end the viewer is informed of the wide scope of the Tesla Company’s accomplishments, with the fantastic electrifying dildo as the centerpiece.

  10. JIMWICh says:

    Holy crap! Is that a Dalek?!

    (sigh) Alas, no TARDIS in sight…

  11. nanuq says:

    Tesla was a lot of things, but he was a lousy businessman. In the end, that just added to his mystique.


  12. nprnncbl says:

    It’s a Phalek!

  13. schmod says:


Leave a Reply