August 10, 2009

WTD: The Ford Buckminster Fullerwagon


Don't let the old-timey photography fool you. The Ford Treasury of Station Wagon Living is not an artifact of the past; it is a blueprint of the future. From the foreword:

Like most new ideas, the book has been a long time taking shape. It all began five years ago [1952 -ed.] when two Ford Times editors were having dinner with R. Buckminster Fuller, teacher and inventor extraordinary.

Out of the dinner conversation came a plan to have Fuller's students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology design new camping equipment, the Ford Times to pay the cost of materials. Some months later the results were on view a lightweight tent of aluminum and orlon that folded neatly on top of the car, and a sliding kitchen cabinet for station wagons.

These things were trail blazers. They never went into production, but their influence has been marked on later designs.

Obviously, Fuller was a car guy from the beginning [cf. Dymaxion Car] till the end [cf. Dymaxion Car parked in front of Fly-Eye Dome]. And yet, photos of this 1952 Ford Fuller - MIT Camping Station Wagon are nowhere to be found. At least online; they can be found in Box 7, Folder 1 of the R. Buckminster Fuller Papers collection at Stanford University.]

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find some photos and/or the whereabouts of this Ford MIT Fuller Wagon. Personally, I'd start with the November 1952 issue of Ford Times.

The future of the history of the station wagon of the future of the past depends on it.

[image via bfi]


The 'K Trucks' in Tsukiji Fish Market operate on the same principle (I think) mainly for the purpose of maneuvering tight spaces at high speeds with heavy / highly stacked payloads.

Buckminister Fuller rules. Long live the Dimaxion.

You've probably already found this... but the whole book has been scanned and is available here:

There's the option to download various formats on the left. Page 48 of the PDF has a tent on top of a wagon?

Ah yes, I should read from the bottom up, not the top down, it appears (and also follow links).

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