It’s not your fault if you don’t know who Nikola Tesla is, but you really should. Tesla was the creator of the alternating current generator and an all-around pioneer in the field of electrical engineering. Unfortunately, his importance and contributions to science are overshadowed by his contemporary/rival/former boss Thomas Edison. Now, the site of Tesla’s old lab in New York is up for sale and one web personality is doing his best to save it.
The original site of the lab in New York was home to one of Tesla’s more far-reaching projects that fell through due to lack of funding, Wardenclyffe Tower. The tower was Tesla’s effort to make a wireless electricity transmission system to power large areas and would have made our current system of power lines looked like a Stone Age relic, even if the excessive amounts of lightning bolts shooting off of it made it look more like a giant Cancer generator. Matt Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, found out about the sale of Nikola Tesla’s old property, which had most recently been used as a paper and film plant, and decided to save it for posterity. The property is for sale at $1.6 Million dollars. Inman got a grant from New York that would give him $850 thousand in matching funds to buy the site if he could raise the rest, so he has started a fund over at indiegogo.com to come up with $850K through crowd-funding with a project aptly named Operation Let’s Build A Goddamn Tesla Museum.
Currently, Inman’s project has received $750K of its $850K goal, with 40 days left on the timer. So there’s still plenty of time left to contribute to the first Tesla museum if you want to. Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and the electric car company Tesla Motors, has responded to a direct plea from Inman, who offered Tesla Motors the option to do as many doughnuts in the parking lot of the museum as they wanted to. Must has lent his support for the project, although he hasn’t stated exactly how much monetary support he will offer yet.
Still not sure whether or not you want to contribute to a Tesla museum? Then check out the comic that Inman made describing why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived. On a side note, Tesla still remains the only inventor cool and weird enough to be played by David Bowie. If you are like me, though, then you can’t think of Nikola Tesla without thinking about the best episode of Drunk History ever…