Wealthy eccentrics

Sometimes the rich are a little different.

George Fabyan (1867 -1936)
George Fabyan (1867 -1936)
Fabyan made a fortune as a cloth dealer and then retired to his estate, Riverbank, in Geneva, Illinois. The house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There, Fabyan devoted himself to his varied interests. He became convinced, using cryptological analysis, that Francis Bacon was the author of many Shakespeare plays, and persuaded a court to rule to this effect in 1916. He spent almost two years and $75,000 transplanting a windmill to his estate. And he spent years trying to build an acoustically-operated levitation device.

But Fabyan was more than just a crank - or at least he left more of a legacy. At Riverbank he brought in world-class researchers in architectural acoustics, and it was Riverbank-trained cipher analysts who helped crack German and Mexican codes during World War I.

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.