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.”