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Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Richard Buckminster Fuller  

Pen Name: R. Buckminster Fuller, Richard Buckminster Fuller

Genre: C:ADULT C:CHILD C:YA Non-Fiction

Born: 1895 in Milton, Massachusetts


Illinois Connection

Started a construction company in Chicago called the Stockade Building System. Fuller was also a research professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1959.

Biographical and Professional Information

Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller was to become one of the most creative thinkers of the twentieth century. Fuller was schooled at the Milton Academy. During World War I he served briefly in the U.S. Navy.Fuller invented the stockade brick-laying method, which consisted of bricks reinforced with concrete poured into vertical holes in the bricks. He went to Chicago, where his mother originally lived, to start a construction company, the Stockade Building System. He also designed his the Dymaxion house. "Dymaxion" was a term that Fuller used to refer to anything that derived maximum output from minimum material and effort. His "house on a pole" was a self-contained unit suspended from a central mast and included a complete recycling system.He also designed the Dymaxion car, an omnidirectional vehicle that gave minimum resistance to the wind. The vehicle could seat 12 passengers, run at 120 mi per gallon, make 180 degree turns, and average 28 mi/gallon. Fuller's first real financial break came in 1940 with his Dymaxion Deployment Unit (DDU). This circular self-cooled living unit with pie-shaped rooms was made of corrugated steel. The British purchased DDUs for use in World War II. Before long, Fuller was shipping them all over the world.After the war, Fuller went on the lecture circuit and became quite a celebrity. He was appointed Dean at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1948, where he developed his Tensegrity Dome, which used tetrahedrons to balance the tension and integrity of the structure.After leaving Black Mountain in 1949, Fuller worked on his geodesic dome. That year, he constructed a model of the dome on the lawn of the Pentagon. Ford Company gave him his first major contract in 1953 to build a dome over the courtyard of the company headquarters in Detroit. The U.S. Defense Department became his largest customer, using his domes as temporary housing units and to house sensitive radar equipment in harsh environments.Fuller became a research professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1959. He went on to propose domes for whole cities, like East St. Louis, to protect them from industrial smog. By the time of his death in 1983, Fuller's domes were in place worldwide, making Fuller's name well known.

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