On Thursday (July 10), Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk announced another $1 million for creating a museum honoring the father of the electrical age. He joins the contributors from more than 86 countries who supported the initial campaign on Indiegogo. The donation from Musk was made on what would be Tesla’s 158th birthday.
Speaking about the exciting news, co-founder and CEO of Indiegogo, Slava Rubin stated,”This is what Indiegogo funding is all about — uniting people form around the world to support an idea they want to make happen together, and then letting that idea blossom in even unpredictable ways.”
The effort to build a museum honoring Nikola Tesla took hold on Indiegogo when The Oatmeal’s Mathew Inman raised more than $1.3 million to convert Tesla’s old laboratory into a museum. According to the campaign’s website, Nikola Tesla was the father of the electric age. Despite having drop-kicked humanity into a second industrial revolution, up until recently he’s been an unsung hero in history books. If you don’t know who Tesla is, go read this.Tesla’s final laboratory is located in the sleepy town of Shoreham, New York. It’s known as Wardenclyffe and it’s where Tesla attempted to build a tower that would provide free wireless energy to the entire earth. Unfortunately, Tesla lost his funding before the project was completed and in 1917 the Wardenclyffe tower was demolished. Subsequently, the land was sold to a film and paper manufacturer.
However, the land, laboratory, and foundation beneath the tower are still there and very recently went up for sale. And right now a non-profit is trying to buy the property and turn it into a Nikola Tesla Museum. The property is listed at $1.6 million, and this non-profit has received a matching grant from New York State of up to $850k. This means that if supports can raise $850k, New York State will match us for that same amount — putting the total raised at $1.7 million.
The organizers noted, “There is currently another offer on the table from someone who wants to purchase the property potentially tear it down or turn it into a retail establishment. There is no Tesla museum in the United States, despite Tesla’s extraordinary accomplishments. If we can outbid this other person and buy the land it will permanently be protected as a historic site and eventually converted into a Nikola Tesla Science Center.”
The folks behind this project are a 501(c) non-profit organization and they’ve spent the past 15 years trying to find a way to save this property. The Indiegogo account is linked directly to their bank and all the funds will go directly to them.
Even if we raise the full amount and end up with $1.7 million, this isn’t enough to build an actual museum / science center. But it will effectively put the property into the right hands so it can eventually be renovated into something fitting for one of the greatest inventors of our time.
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