On Sun, 20 Feb 2005 19:34:57 -0000, "Roy Dennis"
A very poor Heath Robinson.
Heath Robinson made witty social comment by drawing cartoons.
Sometimes (but not always) these cartoons involved fanciful machines.
He was equally capable of finding this humour in existing machines,
such as the automatic toaster, or even in such contemporary fashions
as new tastes in Modernist carpets or flats. The key was the humour
and the machine was always secondary to that. Often the machine was
fundamentally impossible (rather than merely ludicrously impractical)
- lifting the dome of St Pauls with a platoon and a block and tackle,
the dowager's pekingese not merely breaking cocktail ice off an
iceberg, but winching it ashore with a treadmill.
Rube Goldberg was an inventor who drew his creations. The design was
the core, not the resultant drawing. He has more in common with
Alexander Weyger than Robinson, and a similar approach to mechanicaal
engineering. It's important to Goldberg that the machines work, or at
least make some attempt to, and this often gives rise to clumsy
illustrations with voluminous footnotes.
A better British analogue to Rube Goldberg might be Roland Emmett.