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The Oatmeal’s Tesla museum is back on Indiegogo

With 41 days to go, this campaign might actually outstrip the previous Indiegogo's $1.3 million.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 29, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 12:26 pm CDT

Slowly but surely, the Tesla Museum is getting closer to being a real thing instead of just a cool idea on the Internet.

The museum is the brainchild of Oatmeal cartoonist Matthew Inman, a longtime fan of electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, inventor of alternate current. When Inman found out that Tesla’s original laboratory was for sale and in danger of being razed to the ground, he decided to crowdfund on Indiegogo and buy the property.

$1.3 million later, he—or rather, his nonprofit, Tesla Science Center—owned Tesla’s lab and was ready to make it into a fully functioning museum. But since the Tesla Museum will take an estimated $8 million to make, they still had to hunt for more investors. Billionaire inventor Elon Musk chipped in a cool $1 million (along with the promise of a Tesla Motors charging center once the museum is built), but now the museum is going back to crowdfunding again.

Inman’s new Indiegogo campaign is selling engraved bricks from the upcoming museum, so you can have your own personalized message or logo as part of the building itself. To remind people of why this is a sound investment, the Inman has collaborated with singer/songwriter Sarah Donner to make this catchy music video about Nikola Tesla.

It took less than a week for the campaign to reach its $200,000 goal, the amount required to replace the roof on Tesla’s lab. Early backers were promised better placement for their bricks (for example, underneath the statue of Tesla) which probably accounts for the campaign’s speedy success. Still, $305,000 in five days is pretty impressive for a project that has already been partially funded by a separate Indiegogo back in 2012.

With 41 days to go, it’s not inconceivable that this campaign might outstrip the first Tesla Indiegogo’s impressive $1.3 million.

Photo by Dickenson V. Alley (Public Domain)

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*First Published: Sep 29, 2014, 9:53 am CDT