The Fuller House at Fortune Magazine

Fortune Magazine was founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated. We can read about its history:

Single copies of that first issue cost $1 at a time when the Sunday New York Times was only 5¢. At a time when business publications were little more than numbers and statistics printed in black and white, Fortune was an oversized 11″×14″, using creamy heavy paper, and art on a cover printed by a special process. Fortune was also noted for its photography, featuring the work of Margaret Bourke-White and others. Walker Evans served as its photography editor from 1945-1965.

We just found out an awesome visual archive of some scans from Fortune Magazine and, among many others, some wonderful scans of the issue from April 1946, where they published a review of Buckminster Fuller work, focused in the Dymaxion House.

In page 167 of that issue we can read:

“… Bucky Fuller goes in for strong ideas. A Washington official, who got sick of hearing from his subordinates about Fuller’s extraordinary house that he finally took a plane to Wichita to see the one Beech Aircraft had built, was taken into the carefully locked building where the prototype was hidden and gasped, “My God! This is the house of the future!” Later, when he had regained his composure, he announced that the house was going to precipitate an industrial revolution or the most monumental flop in history, and that he was betting on the former. He then jammed on his hat, got back on the plane, and fled to the secure familiarity of his pre-Fuller office building and his solid walnut desk. Bucky Fuller’s ideas often have this effect on people.”

At this moment we are in the process of editing a forthcoming book about Buckminster Fuller’s Design Science written initially as a PhD Thesis called From the Design Science to the Sustainable Architecture by Katarina Mrkonjic. The book aims to evaluate Buckminster Fuller’s concept of Design Science through a search for parallelisms between the contemporary environmental strategies and those of Fuller. That’s why this visual archive captured our attention and want to share it here:

“Dymaxion”, is a portmanteau of “Dynamic maximum tension”. It was invented by an adman about 1929 at Marshall Field’s department store in Chicago to describe Fuller’s concept house, which was shown as part of a house of the future store display. These were three words that Fuller used repeatedly to describe his design.

The complete archives [scanned until now] from Fortune Magazine can be found at fulltable. And more info about Buckminster Fuller here, at the Buckminster Fuller Institute.


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