William Stelzer (1903-2003) was a self-taught inventor, designer, and artist. Born in Switzerland, Stelzer came to the United States in 1923 at age 20. Without formal training, he decided to become an engineer and eventually held over 220 patents in his name; the power brake was his most important invention.
Stelzer enjoyed gardening, fishing, and painting. His lively, colorful work is surrealistic and sometimes abstract. Stelzer’s art was included in several shows during his lifetime and his paintings are now shared among his children and grandchildren. His paintings are on display in the library through the month of November.
William Stelzer is the grandfather of Jennifer Esser, who works here at the Richmond Library.