Read the new book, “LIFT: Seven Lessons for Innovators from an Otherworldly Thinker.”
Before “reduce, reuse, recycle” were widely accepted concepts, and before bartering and decommodification entered the public spotlight, a man in Carmel Valley, California lived simply, embodying these principles, and sharing them with the thousands of students who came to his home to learn. Alexander G. Weygers is one of the greatest inventors, engineers, sculptors, artists, and teachers of the 20th century, and, as the patent-holder of the Discopter, is credited as the father of the UFO image. Weygers was a multi-talented maker with an impressive body of work, but he was never motivated by profit or fame, simply creating for the sake of bringing his ideas to life, and sharing them with the world. He hand-built his home and studio, living off-the-grid and surviving by bartering, growing his own food, and using recycled materials for building and art. Weygers’ legacy lives on, inspiring new makers around the world.
June 5th, 2015 was the 70th anniversary for the filing of U.S. Patent #2,377,835 for the Discopter.
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The San Francisco Chronicle once called Alexander Weygers “a modern Leonardo da Vinci.He commands attention because he is a success by any standard of excellence in half a dozen professions… a sculptor of heroic dimensions, an inventor, mechanical and aeronautic engineer, an artist with a camera, a designer and illustrator, and a virtuoso practitioner of endgrain half-tone wood engraving. He is a lso a blacksmith, machinist, carpenter, electrician, plumber and toolmaker. He is further a teacher and reluctant prophet upon whom the admiring descend.”
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Welcome to Larry Page’s Secret Flying-Car Factories
Bloomberg Businessweek, June 9, 2016
by Ashlee Vance and Brad Stone
Northern California in particular has had a long fascination with flying cars. In 1927 a now mostly forgotten engineer named Alexander Weygers first began thinking up the design for a flying saucer that could zip between rooftops. In 1945 he received a patent for what he described as a “discopter,” a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) machine with room inside for passengers to walk around, cook, and sleep. He depicted smaller versions landing in pods atop buildings in downtown San Francisco. No discopters were built, though it’s believed that the U.S. Army, which paid visits to Weygers’s compound in Carmel Valley, Calif., tinkered with a prototype.
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