Nikola Tesla the Pop Icon

Nikola Tesla has largely been ignored in the history books, but he has had a resurgence  in pop culture. This point was driven home this weekend when I received the following “must-have” item from my cousin Sue:

Tesla Pot Belly

Pot belly isn’t alone in embracing Nikola Tesla as a pop icon. There are bobble heads:

Tesla bobblehead

Incredibly cool artisan chairs:

Nikola Tesla Chair by Scott Mulcahey

Chair by Scott Mulcahey, Photograph by Charles Mulcahey

And even Tesla as a science fiction superhero:

Superhero Tesla

Tesla has been in the movies too. He was played by none other than rock legend David Bowie in the film, The Prestige (also starring some other actors you may have heard of – Hugh Jackman [Wolverine], Christian Bale [Batman], Scarlett Johansson [Lucy], and Michael Caine [perhaps every movie ever made]). You can even help support another movies that has done so much to protect and restore Wardenclyffe – Fragments from Olympus: The Vision of Nikola Tesla and its companion, Tower to the People.

Nikola TeslaThere are many other pop icon examples of Nikola Tesla as well. And you can help collect them. Post photos of Tesla as pop icon on my Facebook author page, or leave them in comments here or on my Fan Photos and Fun page, and I’ll post them!

Tesla in pop culture is also covered in my book, and I’m happy to announce that the 7th printing of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity is in Barnes and Noble stores this month. It’s companion, my e-book Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time is available for direct download on Amazon.

For counterpoint, check out my book on Thomas Edison, in which I give Tesla his rightful due. Meanwhile, check out the latest from Tesla Takes Manhattan.

David J. Kent is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (2013) and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World (2016) (both Fall River Press). He has also written two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His next book is on Abraham Lincoln, due out in 2017.

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