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​Tesla Motors magnate Elon Musk donates $1 mn to Nikola Tesla museum

Published time: July 11, 2014 22:58
Edited time: July 13, 2014 14:01
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors (Reuters / Stringer)

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors (Reuters / Stringer)

Billionaire carmaker and space pioneer Elon Musk has donated $1 million to a cartoonist who plans to turn the former lab of great Serbian-American scientist Nikola Tesla into a state-of-the-art museum.

Matthew Inman, who publishes the popular online “geek comic” The Oatmeal, managed to save Tesla’s old laboratory in Shoreham, New York via a crowdfunding appeal on Indiegogo that raised more than $1.3 million. But now he needs another $8 million to honor the man famous for inventing alternating current electricity, the radio, the x-ray, and the electric motor. Despite his revolutionary innovations, Tesla never financially benefited from his achievements.

On July 10 – the 158th birthday of Tesla – Inman simply asked for help from Elon Musk. To his surprise, Musk answered immediately.

As well as donating the money, Musk will build a super-charging station for electric cars outside the museum, in a synergy of science and commerce.

Nikola Tesla, who emigrated from his native Serbia to the US, was long overshadowed by his former employer, Thomas Edison. However, their rivalry has become a popular narrative in recent years, and Tesla's legacy has begun to eclipse that of the American inventor.

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