by Catherine Haustein
Enigmatic, compulsive, afraid of germs and probably sex too, Nikola Tesla is an odd choice for a scientist hook-up, but that’s who won my “who would you date?” blog questionnaire. Tesla, as many recall, was a pioneer of electricity, inventing the AC motor. Shy and detail oriented, he first worked for Thomas Edison and then for George Westinghouse, who sided with Tesla in the AC/DC debate.
Some fun facts about Tesla:
- He perhaps never touched a woman but he was romantic. He loved the power and beauty of water, lightning, and rain. He moved to Colorado and treasured its lightning storms as he longed to harness electricity.
- Yes, electricity was his first and only love, but some women did enter his life. Katherine Johnson, the wife of a friend, was his platonic lover. Pianist Marguerite Merington, Anne Morgan, a mysterious Anna and perhaps a few other women were associated with him. However, many say that he took a vow of celibacy in order to devote himself to his work. He was not a fan of woman’s rights. He thought that women were smarter then men and might take over the world and forget to be mothers. Do you really want a boyfriend like that?
- He once was attracted to a man, Richmond Pearson Hobson, but being a good Victorian, quickly dismissed that notion and was Hobson’s best man instead.
- The AC/DC battle was gruesome. Even Lord Kelvin (of absolute zero fame) didn’t support alternating current. Thomas Edison was so jangled by the idea of AC current that he collaborated with Harold Brown, employed by Edison to promote an electric pen/stenciling device, to rally public opinion against it. Under-educated Brown did all he could to scare people away from AC current, including electrocuting hapless dogs—44 in total—to demonstrate its dangers A circus elephant named Topsy who killed three handlers, was electrocuted with AC current and some cyanide carrots. Brown pushed AC current as a death penalty alternative to hanging. The first execution by electrocution was barbaric.
- Tesla responded to the brutal animal torture (it took many trials to kill the animals and was extremely cruel) with public displays of high-frequency AC current passing over his skin, in what could be called the first bedazzling ever.
- Niagara Falls was one of his first loves and greatest successes. Long taken with the force and beauty of the majestic waterfall, Tesla and Westinghouse harnessed it with generators that powered Buffalo, New York in 1895. Later, this power would build the city of Detroit.
- Telsa received posthumous credit for inventing the radio.
- If you get that date, don’t wear jewelry. He disliked jewelry not only on women but on himself. He never even wore a tiepin.
- Tesla might not have been much fun on a date. He didn’t eat much and was obsessed with pigeons.
The bottom line: for a fun ride, a Tesla car would get you there faster than the man. If you want a handsome and quirky companion, Tesla is your guy. Eat before hand and don’t plan a second date.
Catherine Haustein is the author of Natural Attraction, a Victorian Scifi Romance. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.