”The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter–for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way...”
FIRST EDITION IN PUBLISHER'S BINDING OF TESLA'S LITERARY, SCIENTIFIC, AND PHILOSOPHICAL MASTERPIECE; HIS MOST DETAILED PRESENTATION OF HIS WORLDVIEW.
“In the early part of 1900, Tesla filed for three patents related to wireless communication. He made several attempts to contact the elusive Colonel Astor but concentrated most of his efforts on working on an article for the Century. Robert [Underwood Johnson, associate editor of Century] had requested that Tesla write an educational piece about telautomatics and wireless communication. The plan was to decorate the essay with photographs of the remote-controlled boat and the inventor’s fantastic experiments in Colorado, but Tesla had other ideas. Influenced by Western philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer about such ideas as the creation of the Übermensch through activation of the will and renunciation of desire and by Eastern philosophers such as Swami Vivekananda on the link between the soul and Godhead, Prâna (life force) and Akâsha (ether) and its equivalence to the universe, force, and matter, the inventor decided to compose a once-in-a-lifetime apocalyptic treatise on the human condition and technology’s role in shaping world history.
“Robert pleaded with him ‘not to write a metaphysical article, but rather an informative one,’ but Tesla would not listen. Instead, he sent back a twelve-thousand-word discourse which covered such topics as the evolution of the race, artificial intelligence, the possibility of future beings surviving without the necessity of eating food, the role of nitrogen as a fertilizer, telautomatics, alternative energy sources (e.g., terrestrial heat, wind, and the sun), a description of how wireless communication can be achieved, hydrolysis, problems in mining, and the concept of the plurality of worlds.
“Robert was now in a bind. Neither he nor [Century editor Richard Watson] Gilder wanted to publish a lengthy, controversial, abstract philosophical essay which might damage the magazine. However, they could not simply cross out sections they were unhappy with, for they were dealing with a man who was born a genius and a friend who had contributed two previous gems that added greatly to the prestige of their publication...”
Tesla, however, “knew what he was doing. He had decided, once and for all, to put down a significant percentage of the knowledge he had amassed into one treatise, and there was no way he was going to change it. Most likely Robert conferred with Gilder. Clearly, the essay was brilliant and original, and the more they read it, the more they realized its many layers of wisdom. The best tack to take at this point, they reasoned, was to work to clarify the piece by using subheadings, by including all of the startling electrical photos from Colorado, and the telautomaton, and by having Tesla more carefully explain the details of his inventions, and then hope for the best...”
“When the article appeared in the June issue of the Century, it created a sensation... Those who were Tesla’s supporters rallied around him, Nature gave it a ‘favorable response,’ and the French quickly translated it for their readers, but those who were against him now had a new supply of ammunition for a frontal assault.” (Marc J. Seifer, Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla, Biography of a Genius).
Illustrated with 10 striking black and white photographs.
IN: The Century Magazine, Vol. LX, No. 2, June 1900, pp. 175-211. New York: The Century Company, 1900. Octavo, publisher's highly-decorated blind-stamped cloth, pictorial endpapers; housed in custom silk box with leather label. The volume contains six monthly issues (May - October, 1900), complete with volume title and index. Cloth spine toned, otherwise fine. RARE in publisher's binding without any institutional stamps.
Price: $2,400 .