In a message dated 5/5/2000 8:45:32 PM Mountain Daylight Time, 
tesla-at-pupman-dot-com writes:

> >2) Extremely low quench times (Tesla used a maggy with about 50,000 bps
>  >as I understand), this is to keep as much energy in the secondary as
>  >possible by reducing each bang size. For better quench you can wire a
>  >multiple gap in series with the rotary.
>  I don't "think" he went to 50000 BPS at least when he was also making big
>  arcs.  But I would have to check to be sure.
I think it was more like 5000 BPS, if I remember correctly.  In fact, in 
Tesla's patent of the magnifying transmitter, he warns not to exceed this 
else you would generate very dangerous fireballs.  Of course he was working 
with power levels greater than a pole pig.