Elon Musk accepts ‘Oatmeal’ comic’s challenge, donates $1 million to Nikola Tesla museum

By Scott Kaufman
Friday, July 11, 2014 7:59 EDT
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Billionaire Elon Musk has donated $1 million to The Oatmeal’s Matt Inman’s efforts to build a museum dedicated to the inventor Nikola Tesla.

In 2012, Inman successfully organized a campaign to buy Tesla’s Wardenclyffe lab, to which Musk — whose company Tesla Motors bears the inventor’s name, and whose signature automobile is based on technology Tesla designed — contributed $2,500. In May, Inman wrote that while the campaign was a success, bringing in over $1.3 million, it only afforded him the means of purchasing the lab.

It was not enough to build the museum.

So he wrote another comic in which he outlined the debt Musk owed to Tesla. “You owe us nothing, and you’ve done nothing but good things in the name of Nikola Tesla,” Inman wrote. “But the fact remains: Tesla Motors, a company now worth billions, is using Nikola Tesla’s name and they’re using his technology, and all we want in return is a little bit of help.”

“I’m asking you to help finish what we started, and finally, gracefully, and with unfettered awesomeness, help us build a Goddamn Tesla Museum.”

Musk responded to the request on Twitter:

Then yesterday, on what would have been Tesla’s 158th birthday, Musk made good on his promise, pledging to build a Tesla Supercharger station in the parking lot of the museum and $1 million to the museum itself.

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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