US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born July 12: R. Buckminster Fuller

July 12, 2016 03:30 AM

  • R. Buckminster Fuller was commemorated on a 37¢ stamp issued in 2004.

By Michael Baadke

American architect and inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller was born July 12, 1895, in Milton, Mass. He attended Harvard University but was expelled twice and served in the U.S. Navy during World War I.

Fuller designed numerous projects that included low-cost prefabricated housing and a three-wheeled automobile with aerodynamic design. His work was guided by a philosophy of doing more with less, according to the Buckminster Fuller Institute, “to reflect his growing recognition of the accelerating global trend toward the development of more efficient technology.”

Fuller is best known for his development of the geodesic dome, for which he received a patent in 1954. The lightweight spherical structure is energy efficient and less expensive to build than many conventional buildings.

The United States Postal Service issued a 37¢ commemorative stamp honoring R. Buckminster Fuller on July 12, 2004 (Scott 3870), marking the 109th anniversary of his birth and the 50th anniversary of his dome patent. The stamp reproduces a whimsical illustration by Boris Artzybasheff that depicts Fuller with a geodesic dome as the top of his head. Other inventions by Fuller, including his Dymaxion car, also are shown. The illustration was originally featured 40 years earlier as a Time magazine cover.