The earliest known settler in the area now known as Laverton gave it his name: Bruce Laverton was an engineer and visionary who had moved to the antipodes in search of a less scientifically conservative society than the one he had left behind in England. In the Melbourne of 1882 – the second largest city of the British Empire, the second richest of that empire, and the most populous in the southern hemisphere – he thought he had found it. He should have moved to Prussia or New York instead.

Laverton was a great devotee of the works of Leonardo da Vinci, and sought to recreate and improve upon many of the master’s devices. Two were of particular interest to him: a device for turning lead into gold, and the various devices that promised artificial flight. The former interest was relatively short-lived – after his lab exploded for the fourth time in 19 months, Laverton abandoned those researches to concentrate on the mysteries of flight.

Like the Wright Brothers who came after him, he was intrigued by the thought of powered flight, but his power source was very different – Laverton never named it himself, but Wilhelm Reich, who would follow in his footsteps, gave it the name of orgone. It was an energy field that existed within and between living things, not unlike the Force of the Star Wars films (only sans midichlorians, of course). Laverton built several devices, of increasing size and complexity, some of which even got off the ground (if he tested them in a high enough wind). He sustained numerous injuries in the course of these flights, from which he healed unusually quickly (which he attributed this to orgone treatments), and threw himself back into his work with a devotion that bordered on mania.

Bruce Laverton was last seen alive on August 14, 1897. He was testing his most recent device that day, attempting to take off with the aid of a strong northerly wind. Witnesses agree that he got aloft in particularly strong gust, but the day was rainy, and he was lost to vision shortly thereafter.

No wreckage or other evidence of his passage was ever discovered.

Suburbs near Laverton:

Truganina Derrimut Derrimut Sunshine West Sunshine West Brooklyn
Truganina Laverton North Laverton North Laverton North Laverton North Brooklyn
Truganina Laverton North Laverton North Laverton North Altona North Altona North
Truganina Laverton North Laverton North Altona North Altona North Altona North
Truganina Laverton North Laverton Altona Altona Altona
Williams Landing Williams Landing Laverton Altona Altona Seaholme
Point Cook Seabrook Altona Meadows Altona Meadows Port Phillip Bay Port Phillip Bay
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