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School pupils look at Nikola Tesla School pupils look at Nikola Tesla's coreless transformer at the Nicola Tesla Museum in Belgrade December 17, 2011. The American inventor Thomas Alva Edison, who made the incandescent light bulb viable for the mass market, also built the world's first electrical distribution system, in New York, using 'direct current' electricity. DC's disadvantage was that it couldn't carry power beyond a few blocks. His Serbia-born rival Nicola Tesla, who at one stage worked with Edison, figured out how to send 'alternating current' through transformers to enable it to step up the voltage for transmission over longer distances. Picture taken December 17, 2011. To match Insight POWER/ACDC REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic (SERBIA - Tags: EDUCATION SOCIETY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TRAVEL) - RTR2VH82  

Elon Musk Donates $1 Million For Nikola Tesla Museum To Appease Web Comic

Giuseppe Macri
Tech Editor

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has agreed to donate $1 million for a forthcoming museum honoring inventor Nikola Tesla — a response to a hilarious comic about the entrepreneur’s leading line of electric automobiles.

In 2012 Illustrator Matthew Inman of the popular online cartoon site “The Oatmeal“ led a successful online fundraising campaign to buy the old upstate New York property where Tesla’s Wardenclyffe lab once resided. Inman raised the more-than $1 million needed to buy the land, on which he plans to build an $8 million museum in honor of the inventor. (RELATED: Hilarious Cartoon Convinces Elon Musk To Fund New Nikola Tesla Museum)

Inman published a cartoon in May comically praising his Tesla Model S — the name and technology of which are derived from the famous and eccentric inventor — and asked Musk for help funding the museum. The entrepreneur agreed hours later, and on Thursday — Tesla’s 158th birthday — Musk pledged $1 million for the project, which includes plans to build a Tesla Supercharger station out front.

The illustrator called out Musk directly in the comic, and said that although the entrepreneur owed him nothing, his company has nonetheless become a billion-dollar market leader on Tesla’s name and tech. A follow-up letter, which included a note from the last surviving member of the inventor’s family to meet Tesla alive, asked Musk for the full $8 million needed to build the museum.

Musk personally called Inman to make the offer, who promptly thanks the CEO in a letter on his website.

“Elon Musk: from the deepest wells of my geeky little heart: thank you. This is amazing news,” Inman wrote. “Happy Nikola Tesla Day.”

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