It should be noted that there are actually two statues of Nikola Tesla at Niagara Falls. One sits in the United States with the other located on the Canadian side. It is the statue on the Canadian side which has drawn considerable attention since it was first erected on the site in 2006.
The statue was created by Les Drysdale, a Canadian who managed to complete the work in time for Tesla’s 150th birthday.
The statue shows Tesla wearing an exceptionally designed tuxedo, top hat, and long overcoat which was the fashion at the time. Of course, Tesla was often spotted looking quite dapper which was almost a trademark of his wardrobe at the time. The seemingly movie-star appearance was part of the salesmanship that Tesla used to court backers for the many projects he did during his lifetime.
Tesla’s statue is also inspiring as it shows the inventor standing atop a large AC motor, something that he also invented, and using the tip of his cane to draw a diagram of alternating current (AC) electricity. Up until that point, direct current (DC) was considered the acceptable form of common electrical use. However, DC had serious limitations as it could only be delivered a very short distance. Tesla’s AC power revolutionized the concept and allowed for electricity to be delivered great distances from power stations with little in the way of boosting needed.
The statue is located presumably on the exact location where a photograph was taken of Horseshoe Falls that Tesla saw and became inspired. His inspiration led Tesla to create the concept of hydroelectric power of which today many of the same principles are being used. As a young boy, Tesla saw the photo taken of Niagara Falls from the vantage point of where the statue sits today and told his father than he could place a wheel under the falls which would harness the power of the moving water itself.
Les Drysdale managed to get his design approved through the Monument Design Contest, an international competition where Drysdale’s design was one of many that was submitted from around the world. His remarkable design was based on the real-life events and conditions in Tesla’s life. He drew inspiration from the true story of Tesla walking with a friend and suddenly drawing the idea for an AC motor on the ground with the tip of his cane.
By adding the clothes that Tesla commonly wore at the time at least for public appearances, Drysdale managed to capture much of Tesla’s genius in a simple, straightforward statue that everyone could relate. The statue itself remarkably demonstrates the idea from Tesla’s mind to the reality which it became as it stands on the very design of the motor he was creating.
It also helps that the statue is about the man who designed the first hydroelectric dam at Niagara Falls in conjunction with George Westinghouse which began the process of spreading inexpensive electricity to the world. This is why the importance of the man is embodied in a remarkable statue designed by Les Drysdale which rightfully stands over the very spot which inspired Tesla at such a young age.
Visit the Nikola Tesla Statue in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada during your next Niagara Falls Vacation. Stay at the Closest Hotel to Niagara Falls, the Marriott on the Falls Hotel. View our: Niagara Falls Hotel Packages