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Explanations:
Strange Machines

Rube Goldberg / Heath Robinson machines


Rube Goldberg was an US cartoonist who created cartoon pictures of complicated machines to do simple tasks (similar to Heath Robinson's work). There are quite a few sites with samples of Rube Goldberg's work on the Internet that are in a format that can be blown up for use in the classroom. Check out this site for some sample pictures. I've not had much look finding any Heath Robinson examples on the Net although you'll probably be able to find some examples in books in your local library.

Click here to find some examples of Rube Goldberg's machines.

The cartoons are great for use in as part of the Literacy Hour strand of explanations. You can get your children to write explanations of how the machines work.

I've drawn my own example machine. Click here to see it.

Louise Wilson writes: 'I just found a Heath Robinson site. I thought you might like it. His are so much more subtle than the rube goldberg ones, although i still want the dining room setting thing in my house!! Your students might like to know there's a rube goldberg machine competition off that web site you give as a link.' Thanks Lousie!
[Thanks to Helen Burrell for updating the link when the original one stopped working]

That site no longer exists. The Walker Museum in Liverpool has some images of his work online.




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