Elon Musk donates $1 million to help build Nikola Tesla Museum

tesla museum oatmeal

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Elon Musk recently made good on his promise to support the g*dd*n Tesla Museum honoring Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor and physicist whose life inspired the electric car company. The Tesla Motors founder and CEO will donate $1 million towards the construction of the Tesla Science Center in New York and promises to build a Tesla Motors Supercharger in the museum's parking lot. 

Matthew Inman, satirist and creator of the popular web comic The Oatmeal, made the announcement on Thursday, which was also the 158th anniversary of Tesla's birth. "Elon Musk: from the deepest wells of my geeky little heart: thank you," Inman said in a blog post on The Oatmeal. "This is amazing news."

tesla supercharger station tesla model s resized Image: Tesla

A Tesla Supercharger station.

Inman has been working on creating the Tesla Museum for several years. In 2012, the online satirist launched a succesful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to preserve Wardenclyffe, the site of Tesla's final laboratory in Shoreham, New York.

The purchased site is now under the control of a not-for-profit organization called the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe.

The Indiegogo campaign was only enough to preserve the site and not to build the actual museum. The estimated cost to create a museum on the site is about $8 million and Inman hoped to convince Musk to donate the full amount. To that end, Inman published a "cartoonist's review" of his Intergalactic SpaceBoat of Light and Wonder—also known as the Tesla Model S—in May.

After heaping praise on the Tesla S during the first half of the review, Inman used the second half to convince Musk to fund the museum.

Elon Musk Edmunds

Elon Musk.

Shortly after the comic was published, Musk tweeted to Inman that he would be happy to help. But how much Musk was willing to help was anybody's guess until the recent announcement.

The original Indiegogo campaign to buy the site raised $1.37 million dollars. At this writing it wasn't clear how much money was left over from the purchase or how much has been raised to build the museum through additional donations, but the group is not yet near its goal.

"He [Musk] has challenged us at the Center to use our resources wisely, find additional resources, and reach our goal of creating this museum," Jane Alcorn, president of the Tesla Science Center said in a written statement.

With one million Musk dollars in the bank and a promise to build a Tesla Supercharger—making the future Tesla Museum part of Tesla Motors' charging network—funding for the science center is off to a good start. Anyone who wishes to donate to the Tesla museum can find more information about the project on the Tesla Science Center's website.

This story, "Elon Musk donates $1 million to help build Nikola Tesla Museum" was originally published by TechHive.

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