MRISAR's Early Days

Circa 1988 - 1999

Experimental Humanitarian & Environmental Prototypes

and Our 1st Free Admission Robotic, Science & Art Center

Some of the below images are prior to the official creation of MRISAR

 





 

Our 1st Center; Before & After, Circa 1988 - 1999

 

        

 

In 1988 John Siegel purchased on land contract a 2 story dilapidated 3,840 sq ft building constructed in 1865. It was located in the rural village of Byron, Michigan. The building was considered unlivable. John did not have the financial resources to hire anyone to restore the building, so he single handedly did all aspects of repair and restoration himself. John used the upstairs as living quarters and divided the downstairs into an Art Gallery and a Studio-workshop. Click here to see more images of the building when it was first purchased.

In 1989 John met Victoria Croasdell, a self taught artist and single mother of three. They discovered that they had similar mindsets and ideals and developed a friendship. They eventually married. In 1991 John Siegel & Victoria Croasdell-Siegel transformed the Art Gallery into a Free Admission Robotic, Science & Art Center. The Siegel's designed & fabricated all the robotic, science & art exhibits. In those days the Siegel's had very little financial resources so everything they made had a high percentage of salvaged, recycled and surplus materials. Even paintings were created using 2nd hand paints from yard sales and scrap plywood. Soon after they had their first child together, Autumn.  In 1993 they filed the business name MRISAR Institute of Science, Art & Robotics. In 1995 they had their 2nd child Aurora and founded a philanthropic nonprofit organization.

MRISAR's history began with two people: John Siegel & Victoria Croasdell. Click here to read about them.

 

 

               

 

          

 

 

            

 

 

       

 

                      

                     

   

 

           

 

 

                    

                     

 

                    

                               

 

              

 

Our Prototypes were kept on public display to encourage others to make careers in beneficial technologies.

 

                         

 

 

           

    

          

                 

 

 

 


 

MRISAR's 1st Home

Images of the building when it was first purchased. It needed help.

 

        

 

                     

 

                             

 

                    

 





 

MRISAR's History began with two people:

1- John Siegel was born in 1965 and raised in an impoverished Detroit, Michigan neighborhood. Although he lived in a Detroit ghetto, with physical disabilities and was regularly terrorized by his peers, whenever anyone was receptive, he offered assistance to help them overcome their circumstances. At age 5 he decided that his life goal was to invent humanitarian & environmental devices to help everyone! He searched alleyways for junk electronics to disassemble in-order to grasp how everything worked. The first school he attended was a dark, boarded up inner city school with roving gangs, asbestos falling from ceiling pipes and constant fighting and noise. In this environment he was unable to learn and was labeled retarded or learning disabled. After years of being labeled as learning disabled, he was given an IQ test and was then labeled as a genius. By age 10 he was making relays, galvanometers for taking electrical measurements, robots and interactive electronics. By his teens, John was etching his own circuit boards and building working robotic arms and interactive electronic art sculptures. At 16 he began self-employment restoring antique machines for a museum. He moved from Detroit, Michigan to Byron, Michigan a rural village in 1988. In 1989 he met Victoria, a mechanically inclined, self-taught artist-poet and single mother of 3, whom he married.

2- Victoria Croasdell was born in Oceanside, CA in 1959, where her father was stationed in the Marines.  After her father left the Marines, he took a job as a lumber jack in the remote northern part of Glacier National Park in Montana and moved his family there. Later they moved to remote areas of Michigan's upper peninsula. When she was 7 her father left. Most of her childhood was spent in poverty. As a child she decided that when she grew up she would take one of two possible paths; to either be a Nun living in a mountaintop Monastery or be an Astrophysicist who would never marry, but would adopt 5 children, one from each major nationality. Other then that she had two main interests, how mechanical & electrical devices worked and the mysteries of the wilderness. She spent her childhood and early teens roaming the county dump to disassemble televisions, etc to see how they worked and roaming freely in the dense forests and rugged shorelines of Lake Superior. In her teens she began rebuilding auto engines and doing cosmetic restorations on auto bodies. By the time she was in her twenties she could rebuild engines and transmissions by herself. Because she was often chastised for being female, she deliberately secured employment that was, at that time, traditionally male oriented. She worked as a Farmhand, a welder and in construction; building houses in subdivisions and warehouse forms. In her late 20's she developed an interest in art, poetry and prose and began teaching herself various methods as a hobby. She married at 16 and divorced with three children. She moved to Byron, Michigan a rural village in 1988. In 1989 she met John an artistic inventor, whom she married.

 





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