Meat is another food which he never touches, Dr. Tesla explained. Two quarts of milk a day provide him with all the proteins and calories he needs to remain alive, he said. Although as a rule he does not retire until 5:30 o'clock every morning, he gets up about 10 A. M. and feels full of energy.
Between sips of the warm milk, he eyed the newspaper folk with their Scotch and sodas and confided that if he had not given up drinking alcohol with the enactment of Prohibition he would live to be 150 years old.
"As it is, I believe my abstinence from alcohol during the latter part of my life has lopped off fifteen years from my life, and now I expect to live only 135 years," he remarked, "Alcohol is the elixir of life, but when this country passed the Prohibition Law I felt that as a patriotic American I should stop drinking whisky. I have not touched it since."
-From: Tesla, 80, Reveals New Power Device. Says His Wireless Invention Will Gird the Earth With Energy for Industry. New York Times. July 11, 1936.
In another interview, Tesla expanded on his vegetarian diet, described even more astringent sleep requirements and praised the virtues of taking an electrical bath.
His diet is simple. He lives chiefly on vegetables, cereals and milk. The menu includes onions, spinach, celery, carrots, lettuce, with potatoes occasionally. Whites of eggs and milk complete the diet. There is no meat on his vegetable plate. He never smokes or tastes tea, coffee, alcoholic beverages or any other stimulant.
"I sleep about one and one-half hours a night," the inventor says. "I think that is enough for any man. When I was young I needed more sleep. But age doesn't require so much. There are so many things to do I do not want to spend time sleeping needlessly. In my family all were poor sleepers. Time spent in sleep is lost time, we always felt."
"But what is giving me more fun than anything I have done for a long, long time," Dr. Tesla explains, "is an electric bath which I hope to have ready for general use very soon.
"It doesn't require much room. There is a platform on which the person stands. He turns on the current. Instantly all foreign material such as dust, dandruff, scales on the skin and microbes is thrown off from the body. The nerves, too, are exhilarated and strengthened. The 'bath' is excellent for medical as well as for cleaning purposes.
-From: Dr. Tesla Visions the End of Aircraft in War. Every Week Magazine, Oct. 21, 1934.
Chewing gum was evil.
In Tesla's autobiography he speaks of the physiological effects of coffee, tea and gum.
[Coffee and tea] These delicious beverages superexcite and gradually exhaust the fine fibers of the brain. They also interfere seriously with arterial circulation and should be enjoyed all the more sparingly as their deleterious effects are slow and imperceptible. Tobacco, on the other hand, is conducive to easy and pleasant thinking and detracts from the intensity and concentration necessary to all original and vigorous effort of the intellect.
Chewing gum is helpful for a short while but soon drains the glandular system and inflicts irreparable damage, not to speak of the revulsion it creates.
-From: My Inventions, The Autobiography of Nikola Tesla, compiled by Ben Johnston, Experimenter Publishing Company, Inc., copyright 1919.
Tesla, Arthur Conan Doyle and Dr. Henry H. Holmes are all characters in my forthcoming thriller, A Predator's Game, Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016.
Back page blurb of A Predator's Game (advance copy, subject to change).
When the author Arthur Conan Doyle meets Nikola Tesla he finds a tall, thin genius with a photographic memory and a keen eye, and recognizes in the eccentric inventor the embodiment of his creation, Sherlock. Together, they team up to take on an "evil Holmes." Multi-murderer Dr. Henry H. Holmes has escaped execution and is unleashing a reign of terror upon the metropolis. Set in the late nineteenth century in a world of modern marvels, danger and invention, Conan Doyle and Tesla engage the madman in a deadly game of wits.
Martin Hill Ortiz, also writing under the name, Martin Hill, is the author of A Predatory Mind. Its sequel, set in 1890s Manhattan and titled A Predator's Game, will be available from Rook's Page Publishing, March 30, 2016. It features Nikola Tesla as detective.
His recent mystery, Never Kill A Friend, is available from Ransom Note Press. His epic poem, Two Mistakes, recently won second place in the Margaret Reid/Tom Howard Poetry Competition. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above post was re-written and expanded from one I prepared two and one half years ago.