Tesla's Biggest Fan
That was just the beginning. Acting on Wagner's belief that "a statue gives credibility to the person," his classes raised $114,000 over the next ten years in donations and profits from selling Tesla T-shirts, and got copies of the bust into eighteen more universities, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, CalTech, and Carnegie Mellon.
And Wagner's not finished. "Next is to promote Tesla through books in elementary and middle school libraries. We're in universities--now it's time to go after younger students, to tell about Tesla's childhood to children. All the time I was teaching I never saw his name mentioned in textbooks, and he's the inventor of the most important invention in the world. And he had a fascinating childhood."
Naturally, the former third-grade teacher wrote both books. "The first is for children aged five to eight. It's full of pictures by an art student from the U-M. She volunteered to do the work in 1996, and she finally finished. The second book is for children aged eight to fourteen. Both came out in 2010."