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Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was a Great Serbian-Croatian inventor who was later nationalized as an American. He pioneered the concept of Alternating Current, the system of electricity used throughout the world.
This is a publicity photo of Nikola Tesla sitting in his laboratory, built in 1899 in Colorado Springs in December 1899. The photo was taken by Dickenson V. Alley, a photographer at the Century Magazines. Tesla sent a copy of this photograph to Sir William Crookes in England in 1901.
The image is a multiple exposure but is cited as a double exposure by Carl Willis and Marc Seifer. Tesla's Colorado Springs notes identify the photo as a double exposure. To give an idea of the magnitude of the discharge the experimenter is sitting slightly behind the "extra coil". "I did not like this idea but some people find such photographs interesting." Of course, the discharge was not playing when the experimenter was photographed, as might be imagined!
Conversely a copy of the original photograph was collected by Leland I. Anderson who sold the collection to Tesla Wardenclyffe Project. They now claim copyright. Note that the version in that archive includes a hand written note added in 1901 printing which doesn't appear on the more widely available image.

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