Did Eddy ever refer to Tesla?

July 27, 2020

We are sometimes asked whether Mary Baker Eddy corresponded with or mentioned famous historical figures from her time. One of those was the inventor Nikola Tesla (1856–1943).

Tesla was an engineer whose prominent achievements included the invention of the alternating current. He also made other scientific discoveries leading to advances in wireless technology, lasers, lighting, and robotics.1

Looking at Eddy’s correspondence, as well as reminiscences written by those who knew her, we did not find that she made any statements about Tesla or had contact with him. However, mentions of him appeared consistently enough in Christian Science publications during Eddy’s lifetime that it is quite likely she was aware of him and his work.

Irving Tomlinson reported that Eddy regularly read The Christian Science Monitor and sent her comments to the editor.2 We also know that she carefully read the Christian Science magazines.

Our research turned up mentions of Tesla during Eddy’s lifetime that included the following selections.

Articles, some reprinted from other publications, in the Christian Science Sentinel:

An article in The Christian Science Journal:

Articles in The Christian Science Monitor:

  • “New Mechanical Principle is Found by Nicola Tesla” (20 May 1909)
  • “Gigantic Wireless Plans are Evolved by Inventor Tesla” (7 December 1909) 
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  1. Brian Clark Howard, “5 Surprising Facts About Nikola Tesla,” National Geographic, 3 October 2013, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131003-nikola-tesla-surprising-facts-statue-museum-science/#close.
  2. Erwin D. Canham, Commitment to Freedom: The Story of The Christian Science Monitor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1958), 54.
  3. ”Items of Interest” was a feature in the Christian Science Sentinel that quoted from other publications.