Nikola Tesla, one of the most influential inventors of the 20th century, spent his life working with electricity and dreamed of the possibility of wireless communication. Although he died about 30 years before the first call was made on a wireless cell phone, his work is invaluable to the technology available today. What could be a more fitting tribute to this man than a statue in his likeness that is equipped with free Wi-Fi?
Entrepreneur Dorrian Porter was inspired to create the life-size statue after learning that he had a lot in common with Tesla– both men were immigrants who found professional success after moving to America. One of Porter’s companies, Northern Imagination, organized a Kickstarter in May of 2013 that raised over $127,000 to erect the statue.
Standing at Tesla’s actual height of 6'2", the bronze tribute sculpted by Terry Guyer features Tesla holding a giant wireless light bulb. In addition to providing complimentary Wi-Fi to those visiting its new home in Silicon Valley, the statue also houses a time capsule to be opened on January 7, 2043—the 100th anniversary of Tesla’s death.
Porter also used this project to comment on the need to balance innovation with the economics of venture capital. His short tongue-in-cheek video imaging what Tesla’s pitch to modern investors would look like reached over 230,000 views, greatly pleasing Porter. “This unique project … is also intended to inspire the entrepreneurs who come to the Silicon Valley to think big and selflessly—as Tesla did,” says Porter. “The free exchange of information and affordable access to sustainable energy have the potential to solve the critical issues of poverty and education, and inspire peace.”
Tesla continues to be a big part of tech today—even tweeting and taking selfies:
I was created therefore I am pic.twitter.com/1xpAOdlSOW
— Tesla Statue (@teslastatue) December 10, 2013
[via: Reddit’s Today I Learned]