Elon Musk Donates $1 Million to Nikola Tesla Museum

The “Real Life Tony Stark,” Space X and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has donated one million dollars to help in the creation of the new science museum honoring inventor and electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla.

The new museum will be housed in Tesla’s last remaining laboratory at Wardenclyffe, in Long Island where he had built a 187 foot transmitter tower to do experiments on wireless electricity transfer. 

Tesla’s lab back in the day. Pretty metal.

Hopefully Musk wasn’t thinking that this would be a big museum dedicated only to Tesla Balls. Although that would be awesome!

Will the museum have a Spencer’s Gifts exhibit?

Musk, who named his electric car company in honor of Tesla, donated the cash at the request of Matthew Inmam, creator of the web comic The Oatmeal. Inman, a fan of Nikola Tesla, calling him “The Greatest Geek who ever lived” had launched a crowd funding campaign in 2012 to help save the laboratory which was in disrepair and about to be sold off to developers. The campaign quickly raised its goal of $850,000 dollars to purchase the property and in nine days reached one million. Volunteers subsequently cleaned up the building in order to prepare it for the museum. Which had to be pretty amazing; what sort of wild things did they uncover while cleaning out an inventors abandoned laboratory?

What does this button do?

On Tesla’s 158th birthday museum officials announced Musk’s donation while gathered for a celebration with local politicians and volunteers. July 10th was even named “Tesla Day” in the town. No word on if the 80’s band “Tesla” was on hand to rock out a rendition of Happy Birthday.

This is not the Tesla you are looking for.

In addition to the money Musk also promised a Tesla Motors Supercharging Station would be installed at the site. It can charge electric cars- get this- super fast.


To help fund the rest of the museum, Inman has also started a “Brick for Nic” campaign where if you donate, you can inscribe a message on brick that will be used to build the museum. What would you write on the wall of the Tesla museum?

Discuss Tesla with Phil Haney @PhilHaney