Nikola Tesla portrayed as hero of a geek tragedy

Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla sits beside his spiral coil in New York in 1901. (Credit: Tesla Memorial Society of New York)

The writer and producer behind tonight’s documentary about Nikola Tesla admits that he didn’t even know who the inventor was when he was first contacted about creating a video biography for PBS’ “American Experience” series.

“I thought it was the car,” said veteran filmmaker David Grubin, referring to Tesla Motors, Elon Musk’s electric car company.

Since then, Grubin has learned a lot about the original Tesla and his appeal, particularly to geeks.

“Tesla was like your garage geek,” Grubin told GeekWire. “He was figuring it out on his own. … He was the Mozart of scientists. His ideas came out fully formed. That is his genius.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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