tesla’s egg

Jul 10: Tesla Coil Quiche #fantasticdrivel

Although it has not been officially adopted as an international holiday, July 10 is Nikola Tesla Day.

Profoundly crazy and profoundly brilliant, Tesla was the mad-scientist genius largely responsible for inventing AC (alternating current) electrical power. Although he became somwewhat reclusive later in life, Tesla loved celebrating his birthday, July 10, by inviting the world into his laboratory to hear about his newest bizzare inventions/theories/ideas/etc. He didn’t actually invite the whole world into his lab, but he did invite the press, which had the same effect. Appropriate, then, that we should continue to celebrate Tesla’s birthday by honoring him in the press, which is what I’m doing here.

I also wanted to honor him at dinner, since July 10, 2013 fell on a Wednesday. So what do you cook for Nikola Tesla day?

Tesla had some strange eating habits, and spent most of his life as a vegetarian. I learned that he liked milk and green beans, and did not like mayonnaise. Not quite enough to build a meal around. After some research, however, I found a connection through an event that I have written about before: The Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, The Great Columbian Exposition…

the feat of columbus

impressing people with an egg

The World’s Fair of 1893 was held in Chicago, and was called the “Columbian Exposition,” celebrating 400 years since Columbus discovered the New World. Some might say that discovering something that’s already there is no big deal, but Columbus would respond to such criticism with an egg.

An egg of Columbus or Columbus’s egg refers to a brilliant idea or discovery that seems simple or easy after the fact. The expression refers to the apocryphal story of how Christopher Columbus, having been told that discovering the Americas was no great accomplishment, challenged his critics to make an egg stand on its tip. After his challengers gave up, Columbus did it himself by tapping the egg on the table so as to flatten its tip.

The story is often alluded to when discussing creativity. |from Wikipedia

the feat of columbus
or “how to make an egg stand on its end”
uneggseptable1 #fantasticdrivel


uneggseptable2 #fantasticdrivel


fait (of columbus) accompli #fantasticdrivel



Remember: cracked is correct.

"Columbus Breaking the Egg" by William Hogarth #fantasticdrivel

Columbus knew that, in order to make an omelet…
(“Columbus Breaking the Egg” by William Hogarth)

tesla’s take on columbus’s egg

For one of his demonstrations at the Columbian Exposition, Tesla chose to accomplish the “feat of Columbus” (making an egg stand on its end) with some fancy electromagnets.

Nikola Tesla, at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, demonstrated a device he constructed known as the “Egg of Columbus.” It was used to demonstrate and explain the principles of the rotating magnetic field model and the induction motor. Tesla’s Egg of Columbus performed the feat of Columbus with a copper egg in a rotating magnetic field. The egg spins on its major axis, standing on end due to gyroscopic action. |from Wikipedia

the equipment tesla used to repeat the feat (of columbus) #fantasticdrivel

the equipment tesla used to repeat the feat (of columbus)

columbus with tesla's equipment #fantasticdrivel

columbus with tesla’s equipment: kind of diminishes the “brilliant simplicity” of the feat

back to dinner


July 10, 2013: Nikola Tesla Day. In honor of Tesla, who carried on the great tradition of impressing people with an egg, I tried to impress my dinner guests with an egg dish: “Tesla Coil Quiche.”

I pin photos of my Wednesday culinary creations to my Pinterest board, Another Wednesday Dinner. You can see other dishes I’ve made there, but you can only get the backstory right here, on fantasticdrivel. Thanks for reading!

Tesla circa 1890, mad scientist eggstraordinaire #fantasticdrivel

mad scientist eggstraordinaire

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