Tesla Museum Site Preserved Thanks To Internet CeLOLbrity

08.22.12 David Lumb

Matthew Inman, better known as auteur of funnysite The Oatmeal and perpetrator of internet fundraising vengeance, has successfully raised $866,000 to purchase the land where legendary inventor Nikola Tesla’s ambitious Wardenclyffe Tower once stood. The money is matched by an $850,000 grant from NY state, which was conditional to the campaign raising a requisite $850k–which it did, in SIX DAYS. (Note that the land itself will be purchased; the museum itself will require more $$ down the line.) The combined $1.7 million is enough to match the $1.6 million asking price that the landowners want; though Wardenclyffe Tower was detonated in 1917 due to WWI radio eavesdropping fears, the Tower was intended for commercial trans-Atlantic broadcasting and other Tesla experiments (wireless power, anyone?). The campaign’s desire to put Wardenclyffe on the register of historic places required owner consent, which it they couldn’t obtain with the current owners.

Inman’s comic love letter to Tesla doubled Google searches on the electrical scientist, a sad reminder that this genius has had more life and love in the crannies of pulp fiction than in the scientific community and in high school textbooks (though his infamy has approached idolatry, some argue). Which is insane, considering his contributions to the scientific world–if nothing else, he brought the sweet tech demo of the Tesla Coil to the world.

This guy knows what I’m talking about.