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Musk Continues To Back Nikola Tesla Museum, This Time With $1 Million

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Opening graphic on The Oatmeal cartoon describing the joys of owning a Tesla Model S electric car

Opening graphic on The Oatmeal cartoon describing the joys of owning a Tesla Model S electric car

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Tesla is such a hot topic in the electric car world at the moment, the name itself has almost lost meaning.

Luckily, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk still appreciates the value of the Tesla name. To prove it, he's donating $1 million, and a Tesla Supercharger, to a museum dedicated to the company's namesake: Nikola Tesla.

Tesla (the inventor, not the car company) is best known for pioneering alternating current--the system that powers your home.

Unfortunately, Tesla's old laboratory fell into disrepair following his death in 1943.

Thanks to a campaign by the Oatmeal online comic, funds were raised to turn it into a museum to Nikola Tesla's life. The campaign to buy the property succeeded in May 2013.

The Oatmeal then wrote another comic earlier this year praising the cartoonist's Tesla Model S, ending with a section asking Elon Musk to help fund completion of the actual museum itself.

Famed electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, scanned image from postcard c. 1890.

Famed electrical engineer Nikola Tesla, scanned image from postcard c. 1890.

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Impressively, Musk said he would, in a response on Twitter. And true to his word, Musk called up the Oatmeal to confirm that he would donate $1 million to the cause--and put a Tesla Supercharger in the parking lot.

That's a pretty good idea--it seems likely that plenty of Model S owners would want to visit a museum dedicated to the guy their cars are named after.

The money probably won't be enough to turn the old laboratory into a museum--the Oatmeal estimates that around $8 million is needed to do that.

But it's a pretty good start, and entirely appropriate from the CEO of a car company that not only bears the name of the brilliant inventor, but also uses a great deal of technology that might not have existed had Tesla not pioneered it.

"Elon Musk," the Oatmeal wrote in response, "from the deepest wells of my geeky little heart: thank you. This is amazing news. And it's Nikola Tesla's 158th birthday [July 10]"

It's hard not to feel that the world has just become a slightly better place, isn't it?

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