Will Elon Musk fund a Nikola Tesla museum?

Story highlights

Unsung inventor Nikola Tesla lived from 1856 to 1943

A campaign is underway to turn his former laboratory into a museum

Cartoonist Matthew Inman asked Elon Musk for $8 million donation

Musk tweeted that he is "happy to help"

CNN  — 

Inventor Nikola Tesla may have died alone and broke, but he has powerful friends who want to preserve his legacy.

Cartoonist Matthew Inman, the brain behind “The Oatmeal,” is one. Using his popular web comic, Inman launched an effort to turn Tesla’s former laboratory in Shoreham, New York, into a museum.

Tesla, who lived from 1856 to 1943, developed the basis for AC power, among other ideas and innovations that have shaped our lives. He obtained more than 100 patents, according to the Tesla Memorial Society of New York. Inman partnered with the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, a nonprofit group, to generate widespread interest in a museum.

The cartoonist sang the inventor’s praises in a humorous, profane comic hailing Tesla as superior to the better-known Thomas Edison (“Basically, Tesla = Nicest. Inventor. EVER,” Inman wrote).