“We’ll telephone to stars!” declares scientist Nikola Tesla in interview
by Harry Payne Burton
New York, Oct 13  — The future of the transmission of the human voice will not be confined to this planet, but will be projected through the ether until its vibrations strike all the other planets that swung dizzily in space!
This authorized statement, of far greater importance than the amazing event which occasioned it, was unequivocally made today by the world-famous scientist and discoverer of the wireless principle, Nikola Tesla.
The distinguished inventor gave it exclusively to The Day Book as the direct result of the announcement by the United States Navy department that its experts had recently succeeded in projecting the human voice by wireless from Arlington, Virginia, to Mare Island, California — a distance of 4,000 miles.
“This, in itself, was, of course, a brilliant experiment,” declared Tesla, “and the experts are entitled to a great credit, but believe me when I say it is only the beginning.”
Nikola Tesla long ago predicted tech like Skype and iPad/tablets
“Very soon, it will be possible for us to see each other at distances of thousands of miles; we shall be enabled to hear an opera, sermon or scientific lecture, and be visually present in all kinds of meetings and transactions, wherever they may be taking place, and without regard to where we ourselves happen to be at the time.
“This will become a daily business experience, not only to transmit with unerring precision a signature to an important document, but enable the recipient in a distant country to see it affixed by the sender.
“My demonstrations in Colorado Springs in 1899 proved that not only telegraphic signals could be sent across the globe, as I predicted in 1892, but that the faintest modulations of the human voice could be impressed upon the planet as a whole and reproduced at any point, irrespective of distance.
“The result just attained by the navy department proves, in a practical way, what my scientific experiment showed to be a fact 15 years ago.”
“How soon do you expect a full commercial demonstration of your prophetic scientific experiments of 15 years ago?”
“I cannot, of course, answer in what state the work of others might be, but, so far as I am concerned, I would have no technical difficulty in establishing telephonic communication to the chief centers of the world inside of a few months, for I have already built a plant for this very purpose.
“When it is completed, it will be possible for any telephone subscriber to call up and talk to any other telephone subscriber in the world who is connected with a central. This plan I have developed long ago, and it has been called my ‘world system.’
“In this plan, there will be no change whatever in the present telephone apparatus. Everything in the municipal exchanges, as well as in individual installations, remains intact.”
Nikola Tesla on radio & GPS
“For if we are to get the full benefits of a system of the sort, wireless telephonic transmission must be practically achieved, and when this is an accomplished fact the only apparatus necessary for the reception of perfectly intelligible, spoken messages, would be very inexpensive telephonic receivers.
“Imagine not only the value, but the comfort, which would accrue to dwellers in the isolated spots of the United States if, at certain hours each day, they knew that they could listen, through such instruments to weather reports, crop advice, important general news, and, at stated intervals and times, through the same means could find relaxation.
“Operas, speeches, sermons — anything which can be made perceptible through the ear and is desirable, could be conveyed to them from the most remote centers of civilization and culture, at a trifling cost.
“The educational effect of such service, alone, could not fail to bring about within a few years what would amount to an educational and psychological revolution in the rural districts of this country. This takes no account whatever of the immense commercial value and domestic convenience which as a matter of course would result from the use of such a system.
“And if a plan of this kind would do much for safety upon land, imagine what it would accomplish toward safety upon the oceans and the great lakes.
“We are now in a position to erect a plant which, when required, would emit peculiar waves, by means of which any navigator, no matter where his ship might be, could determine accurately his distance from and position in relation to any given point.
‘The general installation and use of such devices on shore and at sea would enable seamen to exactly steer their courses, without dependence upon compasses or observations of the sun and stars.
“Once such a system is in operation it will be possible by laws to closely define such navigation routes as will be certain to reduce to a minimum the dangers of marine adventure.
Nikola Tesla interview: On flying cars, no wars, cheap electricity
“But the greatest and most revolutionary of all these advances on earth will be the transmission of electrical energy in large amounts, for all industrial purposes. Once a power plant is in operation, it will be possible to operate flying machines in any part of the world without fuel, and light isolated homes, in an ideally simple and economical manner!
“When world wireless telephony, the transport of bodies and materials and the transmission of energy for all industrial and commercial purposes become facts, the earth will have shrunken in size so as to put nations in close touch and make international complications and wars an impossibility!
“It is already practicable to project from a machine made by man, electrical impulses of such intensity as to affect other planets,” said Tesla.
“There is no difficulty in producing a machine which would cause a disturbance on Venus or Mars, sufficient for any expert, if he exists there, to detect.