Cartoonist draws a crowd in push to fund Tesla Museum

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Published August 23, 2012

| FoxNews.com

Cartoonist Mathew Inman is at it again.

The brains holding the pencil behind popular cartoon website TheOatmeal.com made headlines in July when he raised a whopping $211,233 for charity, using Indiegogo, the same website that raised hundreds of thousands for bullied bus driver Karen Klein.

Last week Inman sought to use the same site to raise $850,000 for a museum to inventor Nikola Tesla. As of Thursday morning, he has raised $974,737 -- all in just seven days.

“Yep, we hit $850K in 6 days!” Inman told FoxNews.com. “I am considering ending the campaign early instead of letting it run the full 45 days, but we blazed past our goal and it's still climbing so we decided to let it run. Any extra money we acquire will be used for renovating the property.”

He was inspired to launch the campaign, colorfully titled “Operation: Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum,” when he learned that Tesla’s Shoreham, N.Y., laboratory was potentially imperiled. The land, laboratory and foundation where the inventor responsible for the alternating current system, wireless communication, and the radio did his pioneering work.

“When I heard that this land was in trouble and they needed 850K to save it, I figured the circumstances were ideal for me to jump in and help,” Inman said.

“Besides, how often do you get to have a direct impact on the legacy of someone you consider your hero? (Even after they've been dead for nearly 70 years).”

The money will be used to purchase the land and label it as an historic site, permanently protecting the site where such important advancements in science were made. Inman hopes it will eventually be turned into the Nikola Tesla Science Center.

Inman’s remarkable success with the Indiegogo website is a great example of the power of the Internet. By harnessing the crowd reading his blog, he’s been able to squeeze money out of thin air, and help some very worthwhile causes.

“I love the idea that crowd funding and the Internet in general has leveled the playing field for projects who want to gain momentum,” Inman told FoxNews.com.

“If you've got an awesome idea, you don't need to be well-connected or successful to make it explode.”

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/08/23/oatmeal-raises-nearly-1-million-for-tesla-museum/