In trying to track down the genesis of the story of the practical joke Nikola
Tesla supposedly played on Mark Twain as related in Margaret Cheney's
_Tesla: Man Out of Time_, Prentice Hall, 1981 -- the Chauncey McGovern
article in Pearson's magazine of May 1899 makes no mention of the incident.
Neither do the three letters held by the Library of Congress that were also
However, one interesting letter does appear in the May 2, 1907 New York
Times on the editorial page. It is unrelated to any earlier meetings between
Twain and Tesla, but mentions a "beef contract" story written by Twain.
Written by Tesla - it reads in part:
"I have not been discourged by the refusal of our Government to adopt my
wireless system six years ago, when I offered it, nor by the unpleasant
prospect of my passing through the experiences described by Mark Twain in
his story of the beef contract..."
What beef contract? What beef contract story that may have been related to