6. Lecture Hall at the Old Columbia University

Places to Find Nikola Tesla-Columbia University-NYCPhoto via Wikimedia Commons/Electrical World and Engineer

While Tesla worked at his lab at 175 Grand Street, he invented the Tesla coil around the year 1891. That same year, he demonstrated how his newest invention could be used for wireless lighting at the spring meeting of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. The demonstration took place at Columbia University’s old location at 49th Street between Madison Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

According to the Gotham Center for New York City History, the Tesla coil was connected to two large zinc sheets that was suspended from the ceiling. He then took two long gas-filled tubes and stood between the zinc sheets. He waved the tubes around and they subsequently started to glow due to the electrical field Tesla set up. Although the Columbia University campus moved uptown to its current location at 116th Street and Broadway, Tesla will forever be ingrained in the school’s history.