Text topic: Culture and Heritage
Text author: Bratislav N. Stojiljković i Ivana D. ĆirićNikola Tesla and the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, have worked and created in the United States of America in the period comprising the last two decades of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. All three of them were visionaries and creators of the modern technical age. In the Tesla’s legacy, apart from his personal and technical items, press clippings, monographic and serial publications, there are also about 156,000 sheets of archival material which cover his entire life and work, both chronologically and thematically. Among these testimonies there are four original documents (a concept of a condolence letter, a copy of the sent condolence letter, a brief gratitude note and a formal invitation) that were exchanged between Nikola Tesla and probably Orville Wright, between 1912 and 1920. The oldest preserved document of their correspondence is the concept of Tesla’s condolence letter to Orville Wright on the occasion of the death of his older brother. Two approved patents for the Wright brothers’ aircraft model have been preserved as well, which testifies of the scientist’s interest in their work and aviation research in general. Researching the correspondence between Nikola Tesla and Orville Wright, as well as the other documents from the scientist’s legacy preserved in the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, we have tried to highlight the details of his acquaintance with the Wright brothers, that is, a small fragment of his life and work which has remained almost unknown until today. Results of the research, presented in the form of a scientific research paper, contribute to a better understanding of the aviation history and reveal new details from the life stories of our renowned scientist and the two famous aviation pioneers. The publication of exclusive documents from Tesla’s legacy is a contribution to the wider scientific community and a new reference point for all the researchers who are to cover similar topics in the future.