Nikola Tesla’s former lab in Shoreham named a historic site


Four years ago, it seemed like Wardenclyffe, the former laboratory of famed inventor and scientist Nikola Tesla, may be doomed. That was before a massive crowdfunding campaign raised enough funds to help a local community group purchase the property with the aim of transforming it into a science center.

Now, Wardenclyffe is being designated a historic site by The American Physical Society, a national nonprofit that promotes education and advancement in physics.

Mr. Tesla, a rival of Thomas Edison and a pioneer in the use of alternating current that is used in electrical systems today, conducted experiments at the Wardenclyffe laboratory. The laboratory was built in 1901 and featured a large tower that Mr. Telsa had hoped to use to provide free wireless power to the world.

That tower has since been torn down after Mr. Tesla lost the property to foreclosure. It was later used as a manufacturing site for a photography company and was eventually sold to Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, the nonprofit that had advocated to save the site.

The group had struggled to find the funding to buy the land until a popular webcomic artist named Matthew Inman began a online fundraising campaign called “Let’s Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum.” The fundraiser ultimately drew in more than 33,000 contributors from 108 countries, totaling nearly $1.4 million.

To honor the new recognition, Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe will host a presentation of a plaque on Sunday, Dec. 11. The event will take place at the Tesla Science Center at 1 p.m. A reception will follow at the Shoreham Village Hall.

People are asked to call (631) 886-2632 or email [email protected] by Dec. 7 to RSVP. In the event of rain, the program will be held at the Shoreham Village Hall.

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