Textile & Leather
The textile and leather collection contains 515 items. This is the most numerous collection in the Nikola Tesla Museum. In addition to clothing items and accessories it includes a smaller number of ethnographic items.
The items were made either industrially or by hand during the period from the 1890s to the early 1940s and reflect the fashion, style and production technology of the time in which they were made.
The collection comprises clothing items of Nikola Tesla: complete suits, shirts, nightshirts, ties, collars underwear, hats, gloves, socks, footwear and accessories such as bags, walking sticks and pince-nez. In addition to their aesthetic value, a large number of the items from this collection also have a high level of documentation, being printed or embroidered with Tesla’s initials. The exceptional quality of the items and the fact that they were produced by famous manufacturers, mostly by hand and to order, supports the impression that Tesla was extremely careful about his clothes, which may also be seen in the surviving photographs of Nikola Tesla.
Tesla’s suits were made up of a jacket, waistcoat and trousers. Many of them were tailored in the workshop of James W. Bell, Sons and Company and it is especially interesting that the suits still have the original label on which is recorded the date of production and the name of the customer - Tesla.
Also preserved are 75 of Tesla’s ties, in various colors and designs. On formal occasions he wore white bow ties. There are also 51 pairs of gloves, but these are not all white. The gloves are made of various materials: cotton, silk and leather, in black, white, brown, olive green, violet, grey and ochre. Tesla also wore a pince-nez and among these items is a pince-nez for the sun.
Tesla never wore a hat while being photographed. Despite the fact that not one photograph has been preserved in which the famous scientist is wearing a hat, on the basis of his personal belongings, we may conclude that he liked to wear them. These were top hats, half top hats and boaters.
One item preserved in this collection which stands out from the others both in style and the way it was made is a decorated woven bag from Lika, believed to the work of Tesla’s mother, Đuka.