Musk has donated one million dollars to cartoonist Matthew Inman, to help build a museum for Nikola Tesla. The museum will be built into Tesla’s old laboratory.
Two months ago, cartoonist Matthew Inman, best known for his webcomic The Oatmeal, reached out to Tesla Motors’ CEO Elon Musk, for help to build a museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla. Tesla, who was born in the late 19th century, could easily be referred to as one of the greatest inventors of all time. Sadly, he was also a man who never received the recognition he deserved, and despite countless contributions to mankind, he died broke and alone.
Musk was happy to help out, perhaps not too surprising considering he named his company after Tesla. Musk replied only hours after Inman asked for help over twitter. Today, on Tesla’s birthday, we finally know what that help looks like. Musk pledged to give the museum a charging station for his electric vehicles, and promised to donate a million dollars to Inman’s museum. It isn’t the first donation Inman has received, but certainly the biggest.
Inman began the project after he raised $1.3 million to save Tesla’s old laboratory at Wardenclyffe. Turning it into a museum will require a further $8 million, and Musk is a good start on raising that amount.
Tesla is credited for pioneering alternating current, developing radio, x-rays and even a system similar to modern day RADAR. He also submitted a patent for a primitive VTOL (vertical take off and landing) system for aircraft and did experiments on wireless electricity. His uncompleted Wardencyffe tower hoped to transmit wireless electricity across the Atlantic ocean.
Tesla’s Wardenclyffe laboratory, where the museum will be built. Tesla hoped to transmit electricity wirelessly across the Atlantic using the tower next to the lab.
Tesla began his career as an employee of Thomas Edison, who at one point told Tesla that he’d receive a $50,000 if he could improve on Edison’s generator designs. After months of work, Tesla completed the task, but was never paid. Edison told Tesla that he had only been joking about the money. This sparked a rivalry that escalated throughout their lives. A famous story had Edison electrocuting animals with Tesla’s alternating current to trash him. Edison also kept the navy from pursuing the previously mentioned RADAR precursor.
Inman created a fascinating comic strip about Tesla, check it out!