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posted: 3/24/2014 7:56 AM

Geneva Speaker Series looks at George Fabyan

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  • Col. George Fabyan

      Col. George Fabyan

  • Geneva tycoon George Fabyan inspired a "community of thinkers" who advanced science in such diverse fields as acoustics, cryptography, genetics, and physiology. In this photo, one of the groups trained at Riverbank spell out "Knowledge is Power" in cipher code. (Some are standing facing the camera, and others away.)

      Geneva tycoon George Fabyan inspired a "community of thinkers" who advanced science in such diverse fields as acoustics, cryptography, genetics, and physiology. In this photo, one of the groups trained at Riverbank spell out "Knowledge is Power" in cipher code. (Some are standing facing the camera, and others away.)
    Courtesy of Geneva History Center

 
Submitted by Geneva Library Foundation

The Geneva Library Foundation continues the second season of the Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, in the downstairs meeting room at the library, 127 James St.

On March 26, the topic will be "George Fabyan: Geneva Tycoon among History's Top 10 Interesting Millionaires." Dick Munson reveals how the cotton tycoon inspired a "community of thinkers" who advanced science in such diverse fields as acoustics, cryptography, genetics, and physiology.

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Yet the whimsical Fabyan also constructed a levitation machine that tried to defy gravity, and he spent millions "proving" Sir Francis Bacon wrote Shakespeare's plays.

At Riverbank Estates, the home of George and Nelle Fabyan from 1905 to 1939, the couple covered their estate with exotic features from around the world, including a Japanese garden, a Dutch windmill, Egyptian sculptures, and a Greco-Roman swimming pool.

He participated in many scientific experiments and entertained a variety of prestigious guests. The estate is part of the Fabyan Forest Preserve, off Route 31 in Geneva.

Fabyan also set up Riverbank Acoustical Laboratories, the world's first independent acoustical testing laboratory. It was part of the effort to decipher enemy codes during World War I.

The evening will include a short reception, introduction of the Geneva Library Foundation, the presentation, and a question-and-answer session. This is a free event.

This series is designed to bring information to area residents. Topics are current and contemporary and also timeless and classic. Each topic is given a fresh spin so that participants will learn and grow from the experience.

The series is scheduled approximately every other month. On May 21, the topic will be "Brain Change: Achieving Better, Healthier Brain Function and Optimal Performance." Note the date change.

For more information about Speakers Series events, contact Cynthia Wade at (708) 989-4439 or CynthiaKayWade@aol.com.

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