Web campaign to build a Tesla museum succeeds in purchasing lab

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The campaign led by Web cartoonist The Oatmeal to buy Nikola Tesla’s last laboratory and turn it into a museum honoring the scientist has succeeded in purchasing the property.

Matthew Inman, the artist behind The Oatmeal, put up a comic strip announcing the purchase to his readers on Thursday, saying Tesla’s former laboratory on Long Island, N.Y., had been successfully saved. He said the Tesla Science Center, a nonprofit group, had managed to purchase the property for $850,000. His announcement also managed to crash the group’s website, which failed to upload Thursday afternoon after seemingly receiving large amounts of traffic from The Oatmeal’s readers.

The campaign began last August on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, which managed to raise more than $1.37 million from more than 14,000 people.


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“This campaign wasn’t about crowd-funding a video game or financing a start-up or creating a fancy new gadget,” Inman said in his comic strip announcing the news. “It was about righting a wrong.”

Tesla is credited with inventing or developing the AC electric current, fluorescent and neon lighting, wireless telegraphy, radio tubes and improved turbine engines.

But despite successfully purchasing the land, Inman said more work has to be done and more money raised before a museum goes up. For starters, the land’s structures may require renovating, and because Tesla may have built underground chambers, the organization wants to first excavate and look for them.

“There are rumors of a huge underground resonance chamber, and although I don’t know what an underground resonance chamber is exactly I’m fairly certain it’s both terrifying and awesome,” Inman said online.



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