I’m just back from a two week trip that took me to Nikola Tesla’s homelands in Serbia and Croatia (with Montenegro in between). Among many other other experiences I had the good fortune of meeting with what can be considered Tesla royalty (not to mention, actual royalty).
Within hours of arrival I hiked up to the Nikola Tesla Museum to meet with the Director, Dr. Branimir Jovanovic. The museum was officially closed to the public, but Dr. Jovanovic and I had corresponded in advance and he encouraged me to stop by. Amidst an invite-only champagne reception we talked about Tesla, the museum, and the future, including the new exhibits and web site that would be launched the very next day. I presented him with a copy of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity signed and inscribed to him.
The next evening I attended a private reception of Tesla people at the Royal Palace and met HRH Crown Prince Alexander and HRH Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia. [Read here for background on the royal family and why he doesn’t use the term “King”] Prince Alexander and I (with Tesla Science Foundation President Nikola Lonchar above) discussed ways to expand the public’s knowledge of Tesla. I offered to reach out to magazines in the U.S. and told I’m working with the Serbian Embassy in Washington DC to give a presentation at the Smithsonian Institution this fall. I also spent time talking to Princess Katherine about her many humanitarian efforts.
While at the Palace I was introduced to another Tesla royalty of sorts, a gentleman who has published three books on Tesla in the Serbian language and who, along with Nikola Lonchar, is looking to get them translated into English. And, of course, there is the ultimate in Tesla “royalty” in William Terbo, the grandnephew of Nikola Tesla. Terbo was not in Serbian for these events (he was attending events in Canada for Tesla’s birthday), but I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Terbo on past occasions. It might sound a little saccharin to say, but it was a thrill to shake the hand of a man who shook the hand of Nikola Tesla (when Terbo was 10 years old).
I’ll have much more on this trip to Serbia and environs in the future. Before I end I have to thank Sherry Kumar for organizing the trip to Tesla’s homeland and Nikola Lonchar for his incredible leadership in helping today’s world come to know the incredible contributions of Nikola Tesla. Check back here soon for more of my travels.
Watch this space for plenty of great photos of Nikola Tesla’s heritage homelands.
David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in July 2016.