Internet Makes Progress Building U.S. Tesla Museum
In fact, there is already a perfectly good museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla, it just happens to be in Belgrade. That is where some 160,000 of the polymathic-polyglot inventor’s designs and correspondence are kept. But there’s no gainsaying that Tesla lived in the U.S. for almost six decades, and was very proud of becoming a naturalized citizen.
Seattle, in return, is very proud of Tesla. We can only speculate as to why this is so. Adopted Seattleite Mike Daisey included Tesla in his Great Men monologues, and the contrast between Tesla and Edison became central to his monologue Monopoly.
Earlier this year, The Oatmeal‘s Matthew Inman, himself creator of an epic Tesla v. Edison comic, heard about the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, the rather aspirational (at the time) name of a 15-year-old non-profit that hoped to reclaim Wardenclyffe, where Tesla tried for 17 years to build a massive wireless communications tower. Tesla bought the land, on eastern Long Island, and began building his tower with $150,000 in hand, which I’m told is about $3 million in today’s dollars.
To buy the land today was just $1.6 million, and the the non-profit had secured a matching grant from New York State for over half that amount. So Inman launched an internet fundraiser, and 33,000+ donors later, close to $1.4 million was raised. That will not, in all probability, be the last you hear about donations needed, as the site is in serious disrepair. But Tesla is getting his due at last.