Fuller's Boats

Eli Whitney Museum

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Learning Heroes

Fuller's Boats


2019 Summer Program

Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was a prolific inventor and designer. He was a restless student in elementary school and twice thrown out of Harvard. As his work became famous in the 1960’s, people would ask him: how did you learn all that you know? Fuller would reply: I grew up on an island off Maine. I built toy boats. Water is a perfect teacher. She applies all the laws of science.

Build toy boats. Let water teach you what you need to know.

Build umbrella powered boat. (Fuller did before he was 12.) Explore design challenges from around the world: an Egyptian boat able to move a stone obelisk, a floating Garden from Mexico, an oddly shaped Venetian gondola, a slender Canal Boat from England, a full size version of Leonardo’s paddle wheel boat that you can test, a Yellow Submarine (that the Beetles launched 50 years ago ), fresh experiments each day.

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