The dream of having a museum dedicated to inventor and futurist Nikola Tesla is taking shape -- brick by brick.
Thanks to a new Indiegogo campaign that lets sponsors purchase a brick with their name or a brief saying on it, funds for the project are quickly adding up. In fact, the campaign started with a goal of $200,000, which it has quickly exceeded by over $50,000 -- and there's still 43 days left in the campaign.
If you want to get in on the action, it's a good idea to buy your brick soon -- as the project page says: "Because these bricks will physically take up space on the property, we can only sell a limited number of them, and the sooner you purchase a brick, the more likely your brick will receive a preferred placement such as near Tesla's statue and the tower base."
You can buy a 4x 8-inch brick with three lines of text for $125; an 8x8-inch brick with five lines for $250; an 8x8-inch brick with a logo for $350; or a four-brick array for $1,200. If you really love Tesla and have a, um, shocking amount of cash, you can donate $1 million and get "whatever the heck you want." If that's all too much, the project page recommends buying a T-shirt or sweatshirt over at Teespring, where $15 from each purchase goes toward the museum.
This is the second major crowdfunding campaign that's been instituted to make a Nikola Tesla Museum a reality. The first, launched in 2012, by cartoonist and major-driving-force-behind-the-project Matthew Inman (of The Oatmeal fame), raised $1.3 million on an original goal of $850,000. That cash, along with a New York State grant, was enough to buy the property on which Tesla's final lab, called Wardenclyffe, was located.
Wardenclyffe once held a tower meant to deliver wireless power and telephone transmissions to the masses. The tower, however, was demolished in 1917 to cover the scientist's debts. The property was bought by Peerless Photo Products, owned by Agfa (a division of Bayer at the time) until eventually being abandoned.
In addition to the crowdfunding campaigns, the museum project also got a significant cash infusion when Inman asked Elon Musk -- who named his electric-car company after Tesla as a tribute -- to donate a million dollars,on Tesla's 158th birthday in July.
The new round of funds is intended to "replace the roof on the most important structure on the property and protect Teslas' lab from the ravages of time and neglect," says the project page.
Neglect is something Tesla was quite familiar with. According to most historical accounts, the Serbian engineer was sidelined and bamboozled by his onetime boss, Thomas Edison -- a fact that's treated humorously in this short video illustrated by Inman, who asks that it be shared to help bring awareness to the museum project.