The Oatmeal Raises $1M for Abandoned Tesla Lab

Web comic saves historical site so it can be turned into a museum
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2012 12:52 PM CDT
The Oatmeal Raises $1M for Abandoned Tesla Lab
Nicola Tesla was an American genius.   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – At first glance, it looks like any other run-down brick building. Its windows are boarded up, it's covered in vines, and a barbed-wire fence warns against trespassing. "It looks lost and neglected," says retired librarian Jane Alcorn. But the building is actually the last lab of one of history's greatest inventors: Nikola Tesla. Alcorn's been trying to turn it into a Tesla museum for 18 years, but couldn't get the funds to buy it. That changed this month, NPR reports, all thanks to a web comic.

When another buyer emerged for the site, Alcorn put out a plea for help online, which made its way to Matthew Inman of "The Oatmeal," who had once written this comic praising Tesla. Inman set up an IndieGoGo campaign, which, he writes, "probably set some kind of land speed record in awesomeness." The campaign has now raised more than $1 million, enough to buy the property. "It's almost like an untapped underground of Tesla fanatics," Alcorn says. "I think it's absolutely outrageous and wonderful." (Read more Nikola Tesla stories.)

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