The Tesla Museum Is On: Internet Raises Funds to Buy Property and Then Some

(Image: Wikimedia)

Last week, TheBlaze reported one man was trying to help raise the funds buy Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe lab and turn it into a historically protected museum — instead of a piece of retail land. He had 45 days to raise $850,000, which New York state said it would match to buy the $1.6 plot of land, and exceeded his goal within six days.

Matthew Inman, a cartoonist who runs the blog The Oatmeal, said last week it was a shame there was not a museum for “the greatest geek who ever lived.” He went on to provide a full on commentary on to the merits and contributions of Tesla to solicit donations to the cause.

Now, with 37 days left to fund the project, Inman’s efforts have helped raise more than $1 million. Inman told Fox News he considered stopping fundraising for the project after the goal to purchase the Shoreham, New York, property had been met but decided to keep the fundraiser going to put additional funds toward renovating the building and grounds.

Inman writes on his blog that the property itself is “a bit of a mess” and needs to be cleaned and restored before there is an operational museum. Although, he does write that he would “love to have some kind of Nikola Tesla festival on the property on July 10th of 2013 (Nikola Tesla Day), and have some kind of zany Tesla-coil-BBQ-cookout.”

The broader context of Inman’s success at helping raise the funds for the Nikola Tesla Science Center though is the rallying of the Internet community behind a cause. TheBlaze has reported on several Kickstarter projects before that have been funded in this manner (Inman did not use Kickstarter as that crowd-fundraising website doesn’t include charities).

“I love the idea that crowd funding and the Internet in general has leveled the playing field for projects who want to gain momentum,” Inman told FoxNews.com. “If you’ve got an awesome idea, you don’t need to be well-connected or successful to make it explode.”

For sale sign on the property that is the grounds to Telsa's old lab. (Photo: The Oatmeal)

One project that is using Kickstarter and is Tesla related is by a group hoping to make a documentary on the scientist. “’Electricity’ the Life Story of Nikola Tesla” would be a “docudrama” made for TV that would tell “a story about the importance of one man and his many technological gifts to the world, and how his name and legacy were removed from America’s history.”

Watch this film about the project:

The group has raised more than $7,000 of their $35,000 goal so far, with 16 days to go. Funds collected for the docudrama would be used for production.

Read more about the fundraising project for the Tesla museum here. Check out the docudrama that is trying to get a Tesla story off the ground here.

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