R. Buckminster Fuller Inventor, engineer Born Richard Buckminster Fuller on July 12, 1895, in Milton, Massachusetts, Fuller was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1917, during WWI. After a three-month training course at Annapolis, he received training as an aviator. He served as a commander of crash boats at the Navy Flying School at Newport News, Virginia, and was discharged in 1919 as a lieutenant (j.g.) at the end of the war. It was during his navy service that he developed his first two practical inventions: a seaplane rescue mast, and a jet stilt for vertical take-off aircraft. He later invented geodesic domes. He died in Los Angeles on July 1, 1983. Fuller often stated that he got the idea for his book "Manual for Spaceship Earth" from his experiences as a naval officer, comparing a planet traveling through space to a ship at sea.
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