Small Technical Items
The collection of small technical items, catalogue no. T:191, comprises 37 different exhibits from Tesla’s legacy. It includes items used in various fields, of insufficient number to make up their own collection. Similar items or items used for similar purpose are collected in smaller units within the collection – printing (stencils for printing business cards, printing plates and graphic roller, a total of ten exhibits), samples of abrasive cloth (seven items) or airplane fabric (two items). The rest of the collection comprises diverse objects, a device for lighting (lantern), metal elements (lever, handle, bumper, cartridge), a sample book of plastic foil, rubber bands for packing, a roll of adhesive tape.
There are two or more examples of some exhibits (rubber gasket, lever, roll of adhesive tape), identical in dimensions and materials, thus the collection contains a total of 45 individual items.
The preserved stencils and printing plates were used to print Tesla’s business cards and his company letterhead. On the basis of the designs on the printing plates it may be inferred that they come from the first or second decade of the twentieth century, exactly the period of scientific work on setting up the laboratory on Long Island, during the development of his turbines.
Three of the printing plates come from the first decade of the twentieth century. On two of the plates are photographs of his laboratory on Long Island with the unfinished transmission tower in the background, while on the third is a photograph of the projected appearance of the completed tower.
The other four plates come from the period when the scientist was conducting research in mechanical engineering. These were used to print the letterhead of his company under the title “Tesla Company, Inc.” of 8 West 40th Street, New York.