Tesla museum campaign exceeds fund-raising target

A museum dedicated to electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla is set to be built, after The Oatmeal website exceeded a target of raising $850,000.

Launched less than a week ago, the campaign was set up to buy Tesla’s old laboratory in Shoreham, New York.

About 21,000 people have donated more than $900,000 (£570,000), with 39 days of the crowd-funding campaign to go.

The Serbian-American inventor is best known for his work on alternating current, radio, and electromagnetism.

“Wow, someone just donated $33,000 at the last minute and put us over our goal! $873,169 REACHED!” tweeted The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman, who launched the campaign on the IndieGoGo crowd-funding website.

“With the matching grant from NY State, this puts us at $1.7m raised in six days to try and buy the property. FAN-GODDAMN-TASTIC,” he added in another tweet.

Saving the lab

In 1905, Tesla built a 187ft (57m) tower in the town of Shoreham.

He hoped it would be a power station that would supply the entire world with free wireless electricity, prefiguring the wi-fi, 3G and other cable-free transmissions used in modern mobile phones, computers and cars.

But some time later, the scientist lost his funding, and in 1917 the Wardenclyffe tower was demolished to pay Tesla’s debts.

A photographic film company bought the land and used it for nearly 48 years.

The site has recently been put up for sale, with an asking price of $1.6m.

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