This article is from The Lethbridge Weekly Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, page 9. Saturday, July 16, 1938.
The HUMAN SIDE OF THE NEWS BY EDWIN C. HILL
Greatest Living American Inventor Working On Invention of Death Ray, With Which He Hopes to Be Able to Put a Stop to Wars.
To the moon with America's greatest living inventor, Nikola Tesla! Well, not precisely--though if Father Time were to grant Mr. Tesla another half century or so of life I, for one, wouldn't bet against the moon adventure under his eager auspices. The man has lived long and wrought greatly, and the keenest desire of his life is to live longer and materialize the dreams which haunt his scientist's imagination.
He is working now on an energy-transmitting device to project electrical waves to Lady Luna, waves of such potency and power that a tract of light as large, perhaps, as the state of Connecticut could be fixed momentarily upon the surface of the moon. If he lives long enough he will do it, and that's a fairly safe prediction, for Dr. Tesla has accomplished many marvels in his 82 years upon this earth.
His birthday fell on July 10, and found him in fair health for one of his years. It was 40 years ago, B.M. (Before Marconi), that Nikola Tesla predicted the coming of radio communication and sent electrical waves racing around the globe from high voltage generators.
Another dream of this truly great scientist is to perfect what we laymen might call a "Magic ray" which would protect ships from the mariner's greatest peril, fog, and bring them unfailingly to port. It might indeed--so far does his dream range out over the troubled field of human life--put an end to war. A magic ray so terrible, so powerful that raiding airplanes could not last one second above their designed victim of a city.
Mr. Tesla lives and dreams and works at a New York hotel and there, usually you may find him upon any proper business--amiable, charmingly conversational, intensely interesting with his glimpses of new marvels and promises of new world. He is the only American inventor with 750 basic patents to his credit--the only inventor who ever lived, so far as this writer knows, who ever explored so many fields with patented results to prove his rovings and wanderings. Half the civilized nations of the world have honored him with orders and medals.
Nikola Tesla is an Austrian. He was only 28 years old when he came from the University of Praha to enter the laboratory of the great Edison. That was the beginning of an amazing career. For more than 50 years he has been a man of magic. Full-fledged from his amazing brain have come marvel after marvel. He gave us the induction motor which made possible alternating electric current. He gave us innu-
merable indispensible electrical appliances. His imaginative mentality reaches out into the hereafter itself. He wonders if life cannot be recalled--as to whether a man electrocuted in the death chair could be restored to life by the application of an electrical current. He really thinks it could be done.
Message From Mars
It was 30 years ago, on Pike's Peak, that he is sure he plucked from the air at that 14,000-foot height signals from the planet Mars. Mr. Tesla believes, as the late Prof. Lawrence Lowell believed, that there are living, humanlike creatures on our nearest neighbor in the family of planets, and much more intelligently advanced than we are. He thinks that they have been trying for many centuries to reach our dull intelligences.
Now, at 82, Nikola Tesla is working not only on an apparatus to prove unfailing communication, to insure safety of ships, to locate hidden treasure and to determine the earth's physical constants, but also on a means to end war. Mr Tesla is reaching into the infinite to snatch a bolt of lightning for the salvation of mankind. It is to be the Tesla death beam--literally a lightning bolt. It will have such a terrific energy that a thousand invading airplanes could be sent earthward in flaming fragments within 10 heartbeats--annihilated. Two hundred thousand men, horse, foot and artillery crossing the border of a defending enemy could be dropped dead in their tracks.
Dr. Tesla will tell you--an you believe him--that it will summon a force, a weapon, which will be so irresistible that war will become sheer insanity.
Submarine warfare would be made impossible by the Tesla death beam. One human being, sitting in a glass tower, gently pressing a forefinger on an ivory button, could hurl a lightning bolt hundreds of miles out to sea and 200 feet below the surface, to destroy in one blinding flash the lurking submarine.
With Dr. Tesla still dreaming and planning with youthful enthusiasm, there is not such thing as old age. At 82 his imagination reaches out for new worlds to conquer, and visions the day when we can put in a call for Mars and get an answer.