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Humor website leads campaign to crowd fund a Nikola Tesla museum

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The Oatmeal seeks to raise money to buy the eccentric inventor's New York laboratory

Serbian-born inventor Nikola Tesla is widely considered one of the unsung heroes of science, having contributed hugely to technologies we take for granted today, such as electricity and radio. In his later years, Tesla began building a laboratory called Wardenclyffe in Shoreham, New York, from which he hoped to perform the unheard of feat of transmitting electricity to all corners of the world, for free. It was never completed, however, and was eventually sold. Now it's up for sale and the humor website The Oatmeal has kicked off a campaign to buy the lab and land to eventually create a Tesla museum.

The site is hoping to raise $850,000 via an Indiegogo campaign, which will be matched by a grant from the state of New York for a total of $1.7 million, a little over the asking price of $1.6 million for the property. The money will go to the non-profit Tesla Science Center group, which will purchase the property and continue raising funding to turn Tesla's laboratory into a museum dedicated to the late inventor's legacy.

Success isn't a given even if the money is raised, since a retail developer is also bidding on the property. It's likely, though, that any money raised beyond the goal will go towards sweetening the deal on the Tesla Science Center's behalf when their bid is submitted to the seller. In addition to donations, The Oatmeal is seeking sponsors for the actual museum construction, and offers some (quite humorous) suggestions of companies that could get involved on its site.

[Image credit: Carl Willis and Marc Seifer]

This article was written by Randy Nelson and originally appeared on Tecca

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