This is a display of currency with a small elephant. The various denominations were devalued in Yugoslavia and bear the profile of Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla.
Examples in the case are 1,000, 5,000, and 5,000,000 Dinara notes.
Tesla worked for a time with Thomas Edison, assisting in the development of Direct Current (DC). He left to pursue his own work in alternating current (AC). It’s said that Edison offered Tesla $50,000 for the work perfecting DC, but reneged when Tesla succeeded. It’s also said that they were arch rivals as a result, but that’s not likely true.
Eventually, the War of Currents began as companies vied for the means contracts to provide electrical services. Edison’s company embraced DC, but was hamstrung by the need for power sources to be close to service areas. Tesla’s (AC) induction motor gave Westinghouse the ability to offer AC service over greater distances.
One tact taken by proponents of DC was AC’s lethality. Edison colluded with a man named Harold Brown and allowed him to use his lab and equipment for tests, and Brown went on to publically demonstrate animals surviving DC at certain voltages and dying at the same AC voltages. Brown went so far as to hire children to capture and deliver dogs for the experiments.
The electrocution of the elephant Topsy
Topsy’s execution was captured on film by the Edison Electric Company. This video attributes the death to a “greedy Thomas A. Edison,” but I’ve yet to see any evidence linking Edison to the actual execution.
Offered as historical record. In deference to the user experience, videos on this website do not play automatically.
The irony of the electric chair
Harold Brown also served as a consultant on the electrocution process for inmates in New York and contracted to provide the equipment for the first execution, with the exception of the chair. AC was used. The execution proved a disaster, and Brown was eventually accused of doctoring his cruel animal experiments by using higher amperage levels with the alternating current than the direct current. Amps kill. Voltage shocks.
At the time there were 3 major electric companies – Edison Electric, Westinghouse, and Thomas-Houston. Westinghouse wanted no part of the execution, but Brown colluded with Thomas-Houston and Edison Electric to procure surplus Westinghouse generators. The whole sordid affair appears contrived to undermine Westinghouse’s success with AC.
Edison claimed DC the better technology because it was less lethal, but funded the use of AC in the electrocution of animals and people. He didn’t take the high ground.
And then there’s the whole thing with electric cars
Tesla envisioned a world of wireless power and communication, electric lights and motors. Before Henry Ford took automobile manufacturing to a new level, electric cars were preeminent. Gasoline powered cars were expensive to operate, noisy, required a hand crank to start, and stunk from noxious emissions. Two-thirds of autos were electric, but the technology wasn’t advanced. Tesla suggested the induction motor be developed for automobiles. For larger modes of transportation still reliant on other fuels, especially steam, Tesla proposed hybrid electric systems.
I have myself for many years advocated this principle. You will find in numerous technical publications statements made by me to this effect. In my article in the Century, June, 1900, I said, in dealing with the subject: Steamers and trains are still being propelled by the direct application of steam power to shafts or axles. A much greater percentage of the heat energy of the fuel could be transformed in motive energy by using, in place of the adopted marine engines and locomotives, dynamos driven by especially designed high-pressure steam or gas engines, by utilizing the electricity generated for the propulsion. A gain of 50 to 100 percent, in the effective energy derived from the fuel could be secured in this manner. It is difficult to understand why a fact so plain and obvious is not receiving more attention from engineers.
~Nikola Tesla, New York, December 17, 1904, signed statement regarding the discussion of a new type of auto-bus designed by Mr. Charles A. Lieb, mechanical engineer of the Manhattan Transit Co. See Electric Autos by Nikola Tesla
It wasn’t just the use of the assembly line that made gas-powered vehicles prevalent. It was the invention of the electric starter, the muffler, the discovery of vast fossil fuel deposits, the speed of the machines, and the range. Resources to recharge electric cars existed in larger urban areas, but cross-country travel was impossible. Research and development dollars went into the lower cost production of combustion engines.
This happened despite the work of John Tyndall in the mid 19th century and warnings of how intense weather would result from the warming of the oceans from increased CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate science has been around awhile.
Tesla’s final years
Tesla eschewed romantic relationships, placing his energies into his work, but confessed his love for a white pigeon. He had a habit of rescuing and caring for distressed birds
One evening the elderly, almost cadaverous Nikola Tesla told John J. O’Neill about the white pigeon while they were sitting and visiting in the lobby of the Hotel New Yorker. Tesla said, “I loved that pigeon. Yes, I loved her as a man loves a woman, and she loved me…. As long I had her there was purpose in my life. Then one night as I was lying in my bed in the dark, solving problems, as usual, she flew in through the open window and stood on my desk…. As I looked at her I knew she wanted to tell me–she was dying…. When that pigeon died something went out of my life. Up to that time I knew with a certainty that I would complete my work, no matter how ambitious my program, but when that something went out of my life I knew my life’s work was finished.”
~from Jill Jonnes Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World.
Jill Jonnes also says
I’d paraphrase, but she says it so well.
On January 7, 1943, as snow tumbled past his room on the thirty-third floor of the Hotel New Yorker and World War II raged across the globe, Nikola Tesla died in his bed, age eighty-six, alone and impecunious.
Electricity had created many, many millionaires. But Tesla, who made possible the electric age, was never one of them.
Additional Currency Examples
All these examples are from the 90’s, including the 100 and 10 billion Dinara notes.