LAST of its kind - Dymaxion Dwelling Machine - Henry Ford Museum - Dearborn, MI
N 42° 18.118 W 083° 14.047
17T E 315848 N 4685721
Quick Description: Last one of two ever built.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 8:54:14 PM
Waymark Code: WM5H48
According to the museum website:
In 1991, Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village acquired the parts to the only surviving prototype of R. Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion House. Over the next eight years, staff researched the house, and cleaned and restored its 3,000 components. In October 1999, the house's construction began inside Henry Ford Museum. The process of restoring and erecting the building became its own exhibition and seen by visitors. On October 24, 2001, the restoration complete, the Dymaxion House was opened to the public for first-hand viewing.
Conceived and designed in the late 1920's but not actually built until 1945, the Dymaxion House was Fuller's solution to the need for a mass-produced, affordable, easily transportable and environmentally efficient house. The word "Dymaxion" was coined by combining parts of three of Bucky's favorite words: DY (dynamic), MAX (maximum), and ION (tension). The house used tension suspension from a central column or mast, sold for the price of a Cadillac, and could be shipped worldwide in its own metal tube. Toward the end of WW II, Fuller attempted to create a new industry for mass-producing Dymaxion Houses.
After WWII, Fuller convinced Beech Aircraft of Wichita, Kansas, to work with him to bring his Dymaxion House to life. The aircraft factory was the perfect choice as materials used in both the Dymaxion House and airplanes were very similar. Unfortunately, "Bucky" would not compromise his design which led to disagreement among the associates of the newly formed Fuller Houses Inc. and ultimately to the collapse of the company. The only two prototypes of the round, aluminum house were purchased by investor William Graham. In 1948, Graham constructed a hybridized version of the Dymaxion House as his family's home; the Grahams lived there into the 1970s.
Members of the Graham family donated their childhood home, the Dymaxion House, to Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in 1991. About 3,000 of the Dymaxion House components were shipped from Wichita, Kansas to Dearborn, Michigan in a single transport truck. In 1998 the house components were moved to a conservation laboratory established specifically for the project, for analysis and conservation treatments. Construction of these components began in Henry Ford Museum in the fall of 1999. The House opened for public viewing in the Fall of 2001
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