The incredible Jay Walker Library
Jay Walker was the founder of Priceline.com and will be the featured speaker at the 2008 Colorado Inventor Showcase on November 10th in Denver, Colorado. Here are some photos of his amazing library. (Pics)
Nothing quite prepares you for the culture shock of Jay Walker’s library. You exit the austere parlor of his New England home and pass through a hallway into the bibliographic equivalent of a Disney ride. Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects-on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor-the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer … is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.)
The Planetarium – Pointing out to that universe is a powerful Questar 7 telescope.
No matter where you turn in this ziggurat, another treasure beckons you-a 1665 Bills of Mortality chronicle of London (you can track plague fatalities by week), the instruction manual for the Saturn V rocket (which launched the Apollo 11 capsule to the moon), a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II. In no time, your mind is stretched like hot taffy.
Inspiration Point – Walker frequently meets with the Walker Digital brain trust in the
seating area of the library, hoping to draw inspiration from the surroundings.
The Reading Room – On the table (first row, from left) is a 16th-century book of jousting,
a Dickens novel decorated with the author’s portrait, and (open, with Post-it flags) an
original copy of the 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle, the first illustrated history book.
The Gadget Lab A brand-new One Laptop per Child XO, far left, sits
next to a relatively ancient RadioShack TRS-80 Model 100.
Jay S. Walker, Founder of Priceline.com. Jay Walker is chairman of Walker Digital, a private R&D laboratory based in Stamford, CT. He founded the lab in 1994 with the guiding vision that new consumer applications for large-scale networks represent the key growth opportunity for many industries. Walker holds around 250 U.S. patents. In total, Walker Digital has invented about 1,000 applications for the Internet, cell phones, credit-card networks, and casino networks, as well as vending machines and lottery and retail networks. The company employs teams of inventors, engineers, designers, and attorneys. Typically, it partners with Fortune 500 firms to bring its inventions to market. Walker is best known as the founder of Priceline.com. He also founded Synapse, which became the world’s largest seller of magazine subscriptions and is now a unit of Time Warner.
More here about the 2008 Colorado Inventor Showcase
More about Jay Walker’s Library in Wired