Tesla and Twain


Friday, January 27, 2012

Mike Daisey tells the story of Tesla’s salons, where he played fast and loose with technology. "When he had you there, he'd show you inventions, then make you part of the inventions," Daisey explains. The inventor "cured" Mark Twain of his constipation with an electrical charge. The pair also loved to use Tesla's X-ray gun against sheets of undeveloped film to capture the images, including several x-rays of Mark Twain's skull.

But then Tesla's mood started to change, and he became withdrawn even as the salons grew more popular. "He became unbelievably fastidious," Daisey says of this period.

(Originally aired: January 25, 2008)

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  • Tesla
    Artist: Dorit Chrysler
    Album: Best of Dorit Chrysler
    Label: Self-released


Mike Daisey

Comments [5]

John Fricker from Oregon

I loved this program until Daisey's integrity became suspect. So I hope at some point, Studio 360 will revisit Tesla and present an historically accurate biography. Until then, here's The Oatmeal on Tesla. http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

May. 14 2012 07:29 PM
Jim from St Pete FL

I can't attest to the validity of electrical stimulation v. constipation in Tesla's era, however our daughter suffered from horribly from chronic constipation for several years to the point where she required visits to the ER. Her urologist prescribed a NMES (electrical stimulation similar to TENS) device for her abdominal area. Within a week she was going regularly. Electrical stimulation absolutely does work to relieve constipation!

Apr. 16 2012 09:58 AM
Buck from Minneapolis

Sorry; no- your over-dramatic narrator is just about, but sadly not entirely, unlistenable- and wrong. As Oddjob points out, it was vibration, not electrical current. Mountain fortress? really? No. He had projects all over the US, but mostly, his lab was his home. Which was usually a room, or set of rooms in an appartment building. Throughout his life he suffered from what would now be seen as OCD. May I recommend you actually read a book on Tesla- practically *any* book on Tesla, before wasting our time with this drivel?

Feb. 24 2012 12:06 PM
David Beck from Oregon

Tesla's progressively strange behavior might well have been due to the growth of a brain tumor instigated by his indiscriminant exposure to X-rays!

Feb. 01 2012 06:52 PM
oddjob1947 from Maynard

Hmmmmmm. Curing constipation with electric charge?
Every book I've read on Tesla is quite specific that the
cure was _Physical_ vibration from a vibrating platform.

Low frequency, 10-10 Hz (cps). Coin Op Machines to do this used to
be available in public places: eg Grand Central Terminal.

The effect is also noted from sustained low notes from pipe organs.


Jan. 31 2012 06:58 AM

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