Are you ready for a gravity-defying adventure in Florida? Steer away from the usual beaches and amusement parks, and let’s dive into some of the Sunshine State’s most peculiar attractions – the mind-bending anti-gravity monuments. These unique sites are a testament to an intriguing piece of history that intertwines science, personal tragedy, and an unwavering determination to conquer gravity.
These anti-gravity attractions are part of the legacy left behind by Roger Babson, a successful businessman with an unusual obsession with gravity. His life’s mission was not just to understand this natural phenomenon, but to control it. This led him to establish the Gravity Research Foundation and fund the creation of several gravity-themed monuments across various colleges in Florida.
Intrigued? We invite you to join us as we delve deeper into this fascinating story. Discover how Babson’s dream took shape, why these anti-gravity attractions exist, and where you can find them. So, buckle up and prepare for a journey that will challenge your understanding of gravity and leave you with a newfound appreciation for Florida’s quirky charm.
Who Was Roger Babson and Why Should We Remember Him?
Roger Babson, born on July 6, 1875, in Gloucester, Massachusetts, was a man of many talents and accomplishments. He was an entrepreneur, economist, and business theorist who made significant contributions during the first half of the 20th century, as noted on his Wikipedia page. His life journey was marked by a relentless pursuit of knowledge and an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the world around him.
Babson’s career spanned various fields, but he was most renowned for his work as an economist and businessman. According to the Horatio Alger Association, after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1898, Babson embarked on a successful career that left a lasting impact. His prominent roles included:
- Economist: Babson was a respected economist in the United States in the ’20s & ’30s, as detailed in the book “Yankee Genius” available on Amazon.
- Entrepreneur: He was a successful entrepreneur, founding several businesses during his lifetime, as stated by Babson College.
In addition to his professional achievements, Babson also made significant contributions to the field of education. In 1919, he established the Babson Institute in Wellesley, Massachusetts, which is now known as Babson College. The institute was founded to educate the “sons of businessmen” to take over their father’s businesses. Today, Babson College is recognized as a leading institution that fosters entrepreneurial thinking and action.
In remembering Roger Babson, it’s not just his achievements that stand out, but also his unique and enduring fascination with gravity. This curiosity would lead to the creation of some of Florida’s most intriguing attractions, adding another chapter to his rich legacy.
Why was Babson Obsessed with Gravity?
Roger Babson’s obsession with gravity was more than just a scientific curiosity – it was deeply personal, rooted in tragedy, and marked by his unique perspective on the world. Various sources, like Amusing Planet and Tufts Now, provide details about his lifelong fascination with this natural force.
Babson’s interest in gravity was influenced by two significant factors:
- Personal Tragedy: A heartbreaking incident shaped Babson’s views on gravity. When he was young, his sister Edith drowned while swimming in a river near their home in Gloucester, Massachusetts, as mentioned by Today I Found Out. This tragedy deeply affected him and sparked his lifelong quest to understand and conquer gravity.
- “Gravity – Our Enemy Number One”: Babson’s commitment to fighting gravity went beyond personal loss. He famously declared gravity as “Enemy No. 1”, particularly for older people. In an essay titled “Gravity – Our Enemy Number One”, Babson outlined his belief that gravity was a major contributor to health issues, especially among older adults, as reported by The Vintage News.
Roger Babson’s obsession with gravity was not just about understanding this natural force but also about seeking ways to overcome it. His unusual fascination led him to fund research and even establish monuments, forever linking his name with the quest to control gravity.
What was Babson’s Dream and How Did He Act Upon It?
Roger Babson had a grand vision: to control gravity for the benefit of humanity. This dream was not merely a philosophical idea; it was rooted in personal loss and a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others, as reported by Amusing Planet. Babson believed that conquering gravity could save lives and prevent injuries, from airplane crashes to drownings and falls.
However, during Babson’s time, there was a lack of scientific interest in studying gravity. Many dismissed his ideas as eccentric or impractical. Despite this, Babson remained undeterred in his quest. He recognized the potential benefits of controlling gravity and was determined to make progress in this field, according to a report by the Chronicle.
To stimulate more research on gravity, Babson established the Gravity Research Foundation in 1948. The foundation aimed to encourage scientific exploration of gravity and its effects.
One of its key activities is an annual essay competition, which invites researchers from around the world to contribute their insights on gravity. This initiative has been successful in attracting some of the brightest minds to share their thoughts and discoveries about gravity, as detailed on the Gravity Research Foundation Wikipedia page.
Where are the Testaments to Babson’s Anti-Gravity Crusade in Florida?
Roger Babson, the man who wanted to control gravity, left an enduring legacy in Florida. His commitment to understanding gravity was not just theoretical; it had practical implications too.
For instance, Babson stipulated that funding for science programs at colleges should also include gravity research. This condition was a testament to his firm belief in the importance of gravity research and its potential benefits for humanity, as reported by the Chronicle.
In line with his anti-gravity crusade, Babson commissioned the creation of several gravity-related monuments across the United States. In Florida, two such monuments can be found at the University of Tampa and Bethune-Cookman University. These granite monoliths stand as enduring reminders of Babson’s unique vision, according to a report by ClickOrlando.
However, these testaments to Babson’s anti-gravity crusade can be easy to overlook due to their locations:
- University of Tampa: The monument here is situated near the Sykes College of Business. It’s nestled among trees and other structures, making it less noticeable.
- Bethune-Cookman University: Located on the Daytona Beach campus, the monument is tucked away in a quiet corner, often missed by passersby.
- Rollins College: In Winter Park, Florida, you’ll find another of Babson’s gravity monuments. It’s placed discreetly near the Bush Science Center, a fitting location given Babson’s scientific ambitions. The monument stands as a silent invitation to ponder the mysteries of gravity.
- University of Miami: The Coral Gables campus is home to a gravity monument hidden in plain sight near the Cox Science Building. It serves as a reminder of Babson’s belief that understanding gravity could lead to significant advancements in science and technology.
- Florida Southern College: The last monument on our list is located in Lakeland, Florida. It’s positioned near the Polk Science Building and, like its counterparts, it carries an inscription encouraging research into gravity.
Each of these monuments, while easily overlooked, is a testament to Babson’s enduring dream of controlling gravity. They stand as subtle yet powerful reminders of one man’s unique crusade against what he saw as humanity’s greatest enemy.
Why Florida’s Anti-Gravity Attractions Are Worth a Visit
Florida’s anti-gravity attractions, a testament to Roger Babson’s gravity-defying legacy, offer a unique journey into the mind of a man who dared to dream big. These monuments, scattered across various campuses, provide a glimpse into Babson’s fascinating quest to control gravity.
These attractions aren’t just about science; they’re a part of Florida’s quirky charm. Each monument is a conversation starter, a piece of history, and a nod to human curiosity and innovation. They stand as reminders of Babson’s vision, his determination, and his unwavering belief in the power of scientific discovery.
So, why not take a detour on your next trip to Florida? Discover these hidden gems and immerse yourself in the intriguing world of Babson’s anti-gravity crusade. It’s a journey that promises to be as captivating as it is unconventional.