The inventor, whose 700 basic patents include widely used methods of large-scale distribution of electricity, assumed on his 78th birthday the aspect of a sinister wizard, when he confessed that in his bony, wedge-shaped head started the Houston street earthquake of 37 years ago.
One day violent tremors shock a neighborhood. They centered mysteriously, in one building. People were thrown into panic. Firemen and police responded to alarms.
Suddenly the vibrations stopped. Tesla said the “quake” ceased when he snatched up a hammer and knocked a gadget from the wall of his laboratory. His workshop then was in the most affected building. Where it is now he refused to reveal.
The gadget he said, was a vibration amplifying mechanism set to harmonise with the building’s vibrations. He said a small quake maker could shake a whole city to pieces.
“Has Invented Machine That Can Start Real Earthquake.” Zanesville Signal, Zanesville, Ohio, July 12, 1935.