the crew that never sleeps
March 15, 2006 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Rube Goldberg, former mining engineer, Godfather to Mad Magazine’s “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” cartoonist for Boob McNutt and Mike & Ike (they look alike), is best known for the now eponymous machines he started cartooning back in 1914 such as: how to not forget to mail a letter. Or the reminder to take out the garbage. Or the local government efficiency machine. Or the oversleeping cure. Or the German webserver wakeup device (it’s got sound). There are amateurs making ‘Rube Goldberg machines,’ but there are also serious contests, sponsored by serious engineers. (There are even do it yourself plans - y’know, for kids). Goldberg’s influence can be seen in a variety of media, but by the time he turned 80 he’d tired of cartooning and decided to begin sculpting. Needless to say he excelled and of course, influenced humorous kinetic sculpture.
posted by Smedleyman (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hopefully not a double. I saw threads referring to Goldberg on search, but nothing specifically on him.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 AM on March 15, 2006

There's also that Honda ad.

I was assigned to build a Rube Goldberg machine for a class in 7th grade. I still remember how fun it was to construct, although I can't remember what it ultimately did.
posted by amro at 11:27 AM on March 15, 2006

"A simple way to avoid all this trouble is to marry a wife who can't write."
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:35 AM on March 15, 2006

Half Life 2 tribute. (Google Video)
posted by brain_drain at 11:35 AM on March 15, 2006

hahaha brain_drain that HL2 tribute was awesome.
posted by zenzizi at 11:42 AM on March 15, 2006

Those are great links thanks. It's interesting that he was almost an exact contemporary of his English equivalent W Heath Robinson, who created many similar contraptions and also became eponymous. He was also an accomplished illustrator. I wonder if there was something in that era that served to inspire them both.
posted by patricio at 11:49 AM on March 15, 2006

Don't forget the Mouse trap game...
posted by Gungho at 12:00 PM on March 15, 2006

I used to have a little book of some of his contraptions. Always a delight.

This is what he won the Pulitzer for. Tame by today's standards, I suppose.
posted by Gator at 12:40 PM on March 15, 2006

Nice one, Smedleyman!
posted by shoepal at 12:52 PM on March 15, 2006

Great links.
posted by dead_ at 1:22 PM on March 15, 2006

Great post, Smedleyman. Allow me to add contraption for the amusement of cats and girls, a delightful golberg-esque screensaver from Cat and Girl.
posted by madamjujujive at 1:26 PM on March 15, 2006

Don't forget this clip from the film The Way things Go.
posted by joedan at 10:23 PM on March 15, 2006

And the four toys by Marx
posted by IndigoJones at 5:12 AM on March 16, 2006

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