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Former Long Island Laboratory Used By Inventor Nikola Tesla Purchased By Preservation Group

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) - A Long Island community group that raised $1.3 million in a six-week Internet crowdfunding effort last year has purchased a laboratory once used by visionary scientist Nikola Tesla.

Jane Alcorn is president of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe on Long Island. Her group officially bought the Tesla lab and property last week for $850,000.

Tesla was a rival of Thomas Edison who imagined a world of free electricity. He conducted experiments in the early 20th century at his Wardenclyffe laboratory in Shoreham.

Volunteers had struggled for nearly two decades to acquire the property.

They got a jolt of support last year when Seattle cartoonist Matthew Inman promoted the effort on his website,

Within weeks, they had $1.3 million.

Online fundraising site said it was the fastest fundraising campaign in the website's history.

The state had previously awarded the science center an $850,000 grant to help purchase the laboratory property.

Alcorn told WCBS 880 last fall that Tesla invented the means by which homes are electrified, as well as bladeless wind turbines and the Tesla coil.

The group said it planned to restore the lab and turn it into a museum.

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