Like so many great thinkers before him, engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla died penniless despite playing a significant role in the lucrative fields of radio, radar, and electricity. When his final project to build a tower to provide free wireless energy to the world at his laboratory, dubbed Wardenclyffe, lost funding, the tower was demolished, and the land was sold to a paper and film manufacturer.

The laboratory, however, remained and recently came up for sale. In an attempt to reclaim the property and turn it into a museum and educational dedicated to the scientist, the non-profit organization, Friends of Science East, is trying to buy it. But at $1.6 million, the Shoreham, New York land will not come cheap.  With New York State’s pledge to match up to $850,000 in funds for the purchase, the organization found itself with the price cut in half but still steep.

Enter online cartoonist Matthew Inman, known by fans as “The Oatmeal,” and suddenly raising that $850,000 is becoming not a question of if, but only when.  Within only a few days, the fundraiser is less than $150,000 away from its final goal. (At the time of writing, the indiegogo fundraiser campaign had raked in $707,502.)

Inman calls Tesla “the greatest geek who ever lived” and is trying to entice corporate sponsorship to the project by comparing it to saving “a herd of drowning kittens.” He says he is driving the fundraiser as “a bit of an apology [to Tesla] from mankind for being a bit crappy, greedy, and myopic while he was alive.”

Image via IndieGogo