New documentary to highlight local history

Charity screening will benefit the Tesla Science Center and Long Island Radio & Television Historical Society

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The first public screening of “Invisible Threads—From Wireless to War” will take place on Friday, Nov. 12 at the historic Bourne Mansion in Oakdale. The documentary delves into the early development of wireless technology on the eve of WWI that connected inventors Nikola Tesla and Guglielmo Marconi to a shadowy radio station in West Sayville called Telefunken. Few residents are aware that both inventors had a Long Island presence committed to wireless at the turn of the 20th century, with Tesla’s laboratory in Shoreham and Marconi’s ship-to-shore stations in Babylon and Sagaponack. As they all competed for radio supremacy, Telefunken was using their plant to send nefarious communications to Germany. Among the suspected subterfuge was information that led to the sinking of the Lusitania.

The film is directed by Babylon filmmaker/researcher Joseph Sikorski, whose 2015 documentary “Tower to the People—Tesla’s Dream at Wardenclyffe Continues” was selected for the Core Collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

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