After the death of Nikola Tesla, an American court, in January 1943, awarded custody of his property to Sava Kosanović. the son of Tesla’s youngest sister Marica. Sava Kosanović was a Serbian politician, publicist and diplomat who, at that time, was living in New York as a member of the Royal Yugoslav Government-in-exile.
Following his death, Tesla’s entire property was packed, sealed and handed over to the Office of Alien Property Custodian.
On the initiative of Sava Kosanović, all Nikola Tesla’s personal property and writings were shipped to Belgrade, where Kosanović subsequently presented them to the state. Packed in sixty packages, suitcases, metal trunks and barrels, the legacy of Nikola Tesla arrived on the ship Serbia in the port of Rijeka in September, 1951. The material was then transferred by train to Belgrade, where it was stored in the Belgrade University Faculty of Electrical Engineering. In June, 1952, it was moved from the Faculty to the Genčić Villa at 51 Proleterskih Brigada, as the street was then known. That address is now the Museum.
On the basis of Article 80, Paragraph 2, of the Yugoslav Constitution, and at the proposal of the Government Council for Science and Culture, the Yugoslav Government, on December 5, 1952, resolved to establish the Nikola Tesla Museum. This resolution was signed by Josip “Tito” Broz, and published in the Official Gazette no. 59, on December 10 that year. The same year, Veljko Korać, a professor of the Belgrade University Faculty of Philosophy, was appointed the founding director.