Funds come rolling in to honor museum for eccentric inventor
Project to honor the work of Nikola Tesla becomes well funded, thanks to fans
Nikola Tesla, an eccentric inventor who died in poverty in 1943, has a
lot of far-reaching ideas. Chief among his theories was free electricity
to the United States and wireless communication. This didn't endear him
to people like Thomas Edison, who mined such ideas for profit. Now,
fans from across the world have donated enough funds to build a museum
to this "misfit of science," which has surprised even the creator of the
Nikola Tesla, an eccentric inventor who died in poverty in 1943, has a lot of far-reaching ideas. Chief among his theories was free electricity to the United States and wireless communication.
Matthew Inman, the creator of Web cartoon "The Oatmeal," has joined forces with the nonprofit group, The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, to help preserve the facility as a museum honoring "the father of the electric age."
"Tesla is an unsung hero, and there are very few monuments to him in the United States. I feel like that's something we need to fix," Inman said.
"I made a comic about Tesla on my site. It got the most 'likes' on Facebook that I've ever seen in my career. Combine (the fact) that I've got this army of Tesla fans and the experience and success with my other fund-raiser, I felt like I was the ideal person to step in to control."
Posting the fundraiser on the IndieGoGo Web site, public response was overwhelming and raised more than $750,000 within five days, topping $792,000 this week.
The asking price for the building is $1.6 million. Inman's goal of $850,000 is to be matched by a New York state grant for the same amount, raising a total of $1.7 million.
"What I expected to happen was we'd raise 20 or 30 grand and trickle over for the next six weeks. I didn't expect to average $27,000 per hour (in the first few days)," Inman says. "That was insane."
Using the power of social media that drew from his 700,000 fans on Facebook, in addition to his 300,000 followers on Twitter and over one million followers on Google+, Inman has also asked the General Electric Company, co-founded by Edison, to contribute.
"Tesla, for the past year or two on the Internet, has risen as a cult hero to geek people," Inman said. "I think a lot of people are donating, not to say how noble they are, but are willing to support him."
Tesla was clearer a man ahead of his time. "Tesla foresaw the wireless transmissions we do with our cell phones and our laptops," Jane Alcorn, president of the Tesla Science Center says. "He said there would come a day when people would send pictures, messages, words from one place to another without wires."
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Nikola Tesla, electricity, fundraiser, wireless, museum
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