Theo Paijmans wrote:
> Dear list members, perhaps you've all heard this sad news, perhaps not.
> Shocking to see the threat of another great inventor's heritage ending
> on the junk yard. Perhaps there's something we can do?
> Best regards,
> Theo Paijmans
> By Scott Thomsen, The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
> Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
> Jan. 23--The International Tesla Society, an eclectic scientific group
> gave straight-laced Colorado Springs a bit of a weird side, is headed
> liquidation in bankruptcy court later this month.
> In its Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing Dec. 9, the group listed $71,452 in
> debts and no assets. The case is to be heard in a meeting of creditors
> 29 at the Colorado Springs Federal Building and Courthouse, 212 N.
> It appears to bring an end to the avant-garde organization that formed
> 1984 to operate a museum on Bijou Street and to sponsor an annual
> of idealistic and eccentric inventors to honor Nikola Tesla, a gifted
> inventor whose career also included some rather wacky turns.
> Tesla's innovations in alternating current changed the world, but
> other concepts -- such as how to transmit electricity without wires --
> never made it into mainstream science. A brilliant inventor, he spent
> several months experimenting in Colorado Springs in 1899.
> Hundreds of inventors, tinkerers and conspiracy theorists came to the
> festival each year hoping to follow in his innovative footsteps. They
> sought to create cars that run on water alone, anti-gravity devices,
> perpetual motion machines and medical cures.
> "There were a lot of flakes all the time, but also a lot of mainstream
> scientists," said Roy Stewart, the owner of Tesseract Design and
> in Boulder and a former society member.
> Stewart is now concerned the society's museum collection may get lost
> the bankruptcy shuffle.
> The rooms in the green office building on Bijou Street once held notes
> Tesla's experiments, articles about his research, signed photos and
> letters. The museum also included reproductions of the inventor's
> creations, such as a working Tesla coil -- a high voltage transformer
> used to create energy fields.
> Today the rooms are empty.
> Colorado Springs attorney Robert Mason, who represents the Tesla
> said the owner of the office building locked the museum's doors last
> Workers packed and removed everything inside, according to people who
> in the nearby offices. What remains is a weathered brown metal sign
> chipped white letters.
> Mason said the collection is actually owned by many different people
> loaned items to the museum. He said he is unsure where the collection
> being kept.
> "I can't tell you where it is," Mason said. "It hasn't been sold."
> Stewart has asked the city of Colorado Springs to acquire and preserve
> "My only concern is keeping the information intact," he said. "It
> might be
> too late. I might be closing the barn door."
> Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum Director Bill Holmes said he heard of
> Tesla Society's bankruptcy this week and wants to learn more about the
> "It's something we should look into," Holmes said. "They may have
> stuff, maybe not."
> Mason said he did not know what led the Tesla Society into debt.
> J.W. McGinnis, president of the group, did not return phone calls from
> Many of the 54 organizations the Tesla Society owes money to are
> and broadcast companies. The largest debts are $13,680 to Protocol
> of Colorado Springs and $8,850 to WWCR, an international religious and
> talk radio station, broadcasting on AM and shortwave radio from
> The Tesla Society operated a one-hour weekly radio program but hadn't
> its bills on time in more than a year, WWCR General Manager George
> McClintock said. "(The debt problem) was a gradual buildup over
> years," he said.
> "They would never get all the way caught up" in paying bills,
> said. "It's unfortunate that a nonprofit organization would allow
> itself to
> get into that situation."
> Roy Thompson, president of Protocol Services, said the 3,300-member
> society hired his company to run its 1997 symposium at the Sheraton
> "They didn't pay us a penny."
> Thompson said the group made at least $50,000 on the symposium but
> to be juggling money constantly to pay back debts.
> Joan Grant, a former Tesla official, said she has not worked with the
> for four years but was shocked to learn of its demise.
> "I'm real sorry to see this," she said. "I loved it for bringing
> of Tesla and what he had done."
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