Sunday, July 31, 2011

Amazing life story, Robert Fulton Jr (from Steampunkvehicles.tumblr, source of lots of incredible good stuff)

Born in Manhattan, New York on April 15, 1909 and named for Thomas Edison, who was a friend of his father, Robert Fulton, Sr.

His father was also a president of Mack Trucks. His maternal grandfather, Ezra Johnson Travis, ran stagecoach lines across the old west after the Civil War and his uncle, Elgin Travis, who took them over from his father, eventually converted the stagecoach routes into bus lines, which became Greyhound Bus Line.

As a teenager he was in the elite when he traveled by commercial aircraft from Miami, Florida, to Havana, Cuba, in 1921. And then to Egypt when Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened in 1923.

Then, at age 23, he traveled 25,000 miles (from London to Tokyo through 32 countries in 18 months) on a twin-cylinder Douglas motorcycle, to study architecture around the world. His customized bike contained an extra large fuel tank, a secret hiding place for his .32-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and enough room to carry his motion picture camera and 40,000 feet of film.

Upon his return he detailed his adventures in a book, One Man Caravan, In 1983 he produced, edited, and released, with his filmmaking sons, a 90 minute film compiled from his home movies, The One Man Caravan of Robert E. Fulton, Jr. An Autofilmography

Following the outbreak of World War II, Fulton taught himself to fly then designed the Gunairstructor, a aerial combat gunnery training simulator that was used to train Navy pilots which increased the kill ratio for ww2 US pilots by a huge factor

In 1946, he invented the flying car. Known as the Airphibian, the vehicle flew over 100,000 miles and received an endorsement from Charles Lindbergh

Fulton then developed the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, also called the Skyhook for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Navy, and the United States Air Force. It was a system that was used to pick up people from the ground with an aircraft

Her also owned and flew a P51d Mustang that the govt had sold as surplus for $755, he would fly his P51 from one Air Force base to another as he had clearance resulting from his top secret invention work

In the mid 1970's he was a film teacher at the Chicago Art Institute

ONE MAN CARAVAN, 3 part series, 30 minutes each. The life, travels and inventions of my father, Robert E. Fulton, Jr., who in 1932 rode a Douglas motorcycle around the world, then invented the Gunairstructor (the first-ever fighter pilot fixed aerial gunnery trainer), the Airphibian (the first flying car ever approved as airworthy by the FAA, now in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum) and Skyhook (an air-rescue system to pick up a man with an airplane in flight). Independently produced with Antenne 2, France. Broadcast in France and French territories worldwide. Also available in english. Director, Cinematographer, Editor.

TWICE UPON A CARAVAN, 53 minutes. 1932-33 solo around-the-world motorcycle trip filmed by my father, Robert E. Fulton, Jr. Original 35mm footage taken by him at age 23 has been edited with his reflections about the trip from his perspective as an older man. A rare look at countries, landscapes, monuments and civilizations that no longer exist. It is primary source material for anthropological, cultural and history studies. Music by Steven Schoenberg. Distributed by Whitehorse Press. Winner: Telluride Indie Festival. Producer, Editor.

But the only way I can find the DVD of Twice Upon A Caravan is and for the one hour movie, they want 30 dollars. Anyone want to resell their copy at a "Used" price? I don't want to see a one hour movie at 3 hours income price.

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