The Surprising Future of Steam Power
Born in 1940 in a log cabin in the Nicolet National Forest near Eagle River, Wisconsin, Robert and his family moved to a farm near Baraboo Wisconsin, home of the Ringling Bros Circus. Along with his two siblings, Robert attended a one-room rural school where he was the only one in his class. Because of hardship during those times, Robert was “farmed out” to a local farm at age twelve to work for his keep and a small stipend. He was responsible for all the tasks of running the dairy farm while the owner worked at outside jobs. Repairing and maintaining farm equipment and vehicles was an everyday task. These experiences taught him many skills that have proven useful to the present day.
At age 15, he hitchhiked to Chicago to begin a new life on his own. Mechanical skills learned on the farm provided the means to stay off the streets and utilize that knowledge. Robert worked in gas stations repairing cars and later taught auto mechanics at a training center. After a couple of years, he started taking college courses at Wright College. From there he entered University of Illinois and then Roosevelt University.
In 1964 he founded Turin Bicycle Company with smoke-damaged bicycles he obtained from a warehouse fire. The business flourished and Robert sold it the following year. The next few years were spent traveling and living in Europe and Morocco.
After returning to the US, he started a new business- Green Construction Company. With industrial machinery purchased from failed factories, Robert created custom cabinetry, furniture and architectural pieces as well as sculpture. He learned many new skills and became professional in carpentry, joinery/cabinetry, furniture design electrical, plumbing, machining, mechanics, metal casting, jewelry making, masonry, tile setting, welding, fine art (sculpting, painting, drafting, cartooning and drawing) as well as mechanical engineering, patent writing, and business management.
In addition to Green Construction, Robert founded an art gallery, a bookstore, and participated in and organized many art exhibitions both foreign and domestic. He made and exhibited sculpture, paintings, drawings and jewelry.
In 1972 he married Debra Taub, a former ballet dancer and artist who founded a retail dancewear company. Together, they traveled worldwide and lived for a time in Mexico.
Robert retired from Green Construction in 1990 and is devoted full time to developing inventions, writing and applying for patents on a wood-working system, a windmill, a rotary conversion device and a steam engine (six patents). The last two patents are embodied in the steam engine products he sells and licenses worldwide today. His web address is http://www.greensteamengine.com/
Robert is also a published author with his two books Unscripted Journeys and Steam Age Machines, available in e-book form.
Favorite Quote: “The waste of today will be the energy of tomorrow.”