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Nikola Tesla gets his own museum, thanks to cartoonist

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Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe/AP/File

(Read caption) This undated file photo provided by the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe shows the exterior of a Shoreham, N.Y., building that once housed the laboratory of physicist/inventor Nicola Tesla. A six-week Internet crowdfunding effort has raised $1.3 million to restore Tesla's onetime New York laboratory.

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Move over, Thomas Edison National Historical Park. A new destination for electricity enthusiasts is garnering a lot of buzz.

Thanks to the efforts of a Seattle-based cartoonist, an abandoned New York laboratory may find a second life as a museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla – an oft-overlooked contributor to modern electricity.

The Serbian-American scientist and inventor made important discoveries in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries, making  possible many of the the technologies we take for granted today. The alternating current electrical system, for example, is largely the result of Tesla’s work.

The inventor has found an unlikely advocate in Seattle cartoonist, Matthew Inman who first called attention to Tesla in a post on his website, theoatmeal.com, titled “Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived.”

The quirky post posits that Tesla, not the more widely-known Thomas Edison, was the father of the electrical age.

When Inman discovered that the land surrounding the inventor’s Shoreham, N.Y., laboratory was up for sale, he threw his weight behind a non-profit organization’s attempt to buy the property and turn it into a museum.


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