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Online effort nets $1.3M to restore Tesla's NY lab

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    An April 2009 view of the south and east facades of Tesla's historic Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham, New York. Recently, the owner boarded up the historical window frames, as a precaution against potential vandalism. (Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe)

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    A March 2009 view of Tesla's historic Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham, New Yorknow for sale by the owner, the Agfa Corporation. (Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe)

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    Theoatmeal.com founder Matthew Inman poses in front of a whopping stack of cash he raised for charity. (Matthew Inman)

Internet "crowdfunding" has raised $1.3 million to restore a New York laboratory once used by Nikola Tesla.

The visionary scientist was a rival of Thomas Edison. He imagined a world of free electricity.

Organizers hope to purchase his Wardenclyffe laboratory, located about 65 miles east of New York City.

They plan to create a science center on the Long Island property.

The property has fallen into disrepair in recent decades. Tesla used it in the early 20th Century.

Seattle-based Internet cartoonist Matthew Inman began the fundraising in August.

He promoted the effort on his website, theOatmeal.com. The group received an overwhelming response on the Indiegogo.com Web site, which collected the donations.

Over 33,000 contributions were received from donors in the U.S. and 108 countries.