Monday, May 30, 2005
Buckminster Fuller and Henry Ford
Posted by Chris Guld
We went to the Henry Ford Museum today. It's not just about Henry and cars - although there are a LOT of cars. It's also an Imax Theatre, a history museum for American Culture, Aviation and Electricity, and it houses the Dymaxion House by Buckminster Fuller - which is the reason for our visit. What a day of learning! The IMAX theatre was an unexpected high point. We saw a 3D film called Aliens of the Deep. Spectacular. If you get a chance - see it. Did you know that there are thriving communities of creatures who survive without any benefit of energy from the sun? The sun could blow up, destroying all life on earth's surface and these communities thousands of feet below the ocean's surface wouldn't even know anything had happened. Their energy comes from the heat of the earth's core interacting with chemicals in the ocean. Then ... the Dymaxion House: This was one of Bucky's earlier inventions. Cool ideas. A rotating air vent in the top that would turn constantly to get the best air circulation. A pre-fabricated house made by airplane manufacturers where all the pieces would fit in a big tube and be transported to wherever you wanted your house to be. When you move, you can pack it up and ship it on ahead. It really was kind of wierd feeling tho. It makes sense that it was an early invention. He had visions of going into production with thousands of them, but it didn't take off. Here's the living room. Of course, we saw lots of old cars too - but I really perked up in the RV section. Here's a 1928 motorhome! And, here's the motorhome used by Charles Kuralt in the TV series 'On the Road' Then there was a lot of information about electricity. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison were good friends. We knew this from visiting Edison's winter estate in Florida Reviewing this history made us come home and rewatch the video we have on Nikola Tesla's life. Fascinating that we learn all about Edison when we go to school in this country, but you don't learn about Nikola Tesla who was the one who discovered Alternating Current, the type of electricity we actually use today. It appears to me that Nikola Tesla and Buckminster Fuller have a lot in common. They both claimed to 'discover' what nature already knew - not to 'invent' new things. And, they both believed that we have the resources and the knowledge to provide abundant energy, food and all other essentials to every person on earth. If we only had the political will. Speaking of energy - I'm all out! G'night.