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Invention Collection

"Invention: A Journey Through Time and Imagination" Step into the whimsical world of William Heath Robinson

Background imageInvention Collection: Heath Robinson automated Dining Room without servants 1 of 4

Heath Robinson automated Dining Room without servants 1 of 4
Heath Robinson Does Away with Servants - Patent Applied for by " The Sketch" in the Dining-Room. A family at their dining table, which is a typically Heath Robinson design

Background imageInvention Collection: Bedroom boat-race practice

Bedroom boat-race practice
An enthusiastic " Blue" leaves nothing to chance and recreates rowing conditions with the help of three tin baths, some wheels and a pair of oars in his bedroom

Background imageInvention Collection: Pea Apparatus by William Heath Robinson

Pea Apparatus by William Heath Robinson
An interesting and elegant apparatus designed to overcome once for all the difficulties of conveying green peas to the mouth

Background imageInvention Collection: Ultra-Marine by William Heath Robinson

Ultra-Marine by William Heath Robinson
One of Margates new " Neversink" pleasure boats for keeping an even keel inthe roughest seas. Please note: Credit must appear as Courtesy of the estate of Mrs J.C.Robinson/Pollinger

Background imageInvention Collection: Gutenbergs printing press, 1450s

Gutenbergs printing press, 1450s
Gutenberg and Fust with the first printing press, Germany, 1450s. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageInvention Collection: A Decided Catch by William Heath Robinson

A Decided Catch by William Heath Robinson
The Whitebait cycle, an ingenious contraption necessitated by the exorbitant charges for hire of boats at the seaside this season

Background imageInvention Collection: Bound to Draw by William Heath Robinson

Bound to Draw by William Heath Robinson
Another well-thought-out experiment in dentistry from Heath Robinson, the Gadget King and mastermind behind endless convoluted contraptions and silly ideas. Date: 1927

Background imageInvention Collection: First Ferris wheel, Chicago Worlds Fair, 1893

First Ferris wheel, Chicago Worlds Fair, 1893
Ferris wheel -250 feet in diameter, 36 cars - at the Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageInvention Collection: Rejected by the inventions board

Rejected by the inventions board

Background imageInvention Collection: A Swimming Stroke of Genius

A Swimming Stroke of Genius
A simple device by which a cross channel swim may be rendered both easy and pleasant- not to mention luxurious. Please note

Background imageInvention Collection: Acme Moustache Guard

Acme Moustache Guard
The Acme Moustache Guard. Solid comfort while eating. No use for napkins - does not interfere with use of mouth. Made of gold or silver plate. Everyone should have one!

Background imageInvention Collection: DOLLY TUB

DOLLY TUB
A laundry worker using a dolly stock and tub to clean clothes, prior to the invention of the washing machine

Background imageInvention Collection: Schematic view of George Stephensons locomotive The Rocket of 1829

Schematic view of George Stephensons locomotive The Rocket of 1829
STEPHENSONs ROCKET, 1829. Schematic view of George Stephensons locomotive " The Rocket" of 1829

Background imageInvention Collection: Crewe Station started service on 4 July 1837 with the opening of the Grand Junction Railway

Crewe Station started service on 4 July 1837 with the opening of the Grand Junction Railway. The purpose of this railway was to link the four largest cities of England by joining the existing

Background imageInvention Collection: Crewe Station started service on 4 July 1837 with the opening of the Grand Junction Railway

Crewe Station started service on 4 July 1837 with the opening of the Grand Junction Railway. The purpose of this railway was to link the four largest cities of England by joining the existing

Background imageInvention Collection: A cunning stroke by William Heath Robinson

A cunning stroke by William Heath Robinson
A clever but unsportsmanlike contrivance to increase buoyance and prevent fatigue among Channel swimmers. A useful inflatable idea to help long-distance swimmers by the gadget king

Background imageInvention Collection: Use of an arquebusse, 16th century

Use of an arquebusse, 16th century
Spanish arquebusier, 1500s. Hand-colored 19th-century woodcut reproduction of an earlier illustration

Background imageInvention Collection: The Subzeppmarinellin by Heath Robinson, WW1 cartoon

The Subzeppmarinellin by Heath Robinson, WW1 cartoon
The subzeppmarinellin for making sure of your enemy. All bases covered with this combined submarine and zeppelin from the imagination of William Heath Robinson during the First World War. Date: c.1916

Background imageInvention Collection: Bolts of electricity discharging in the lab of Nikola Tesla

Bolts of electricity discharging in the lab of Nikola Tesla
Inventor and scientist Nikola Tesla in his lab while his magnifying transmitter high voltage generator produces bolts of electricity. December 1899

Background imageInvention Collection: Schematic view of the Stourbridge Lion, the first commercial locomotive in North America

Schematic view of the Stourbridge Lion, the first commercial locomotive in North America
THE STOURBRIDGE LION, 1829. Schematic view of the Stourbridge Lion, the first commercial locomotive in North America, imported from England by the Delaware & Hudson Canal Company in 1829 for use in

Background imageInvention Collection: Rejected by the inventions board

Rejected by the inventions board
" Rejected by the inventions board. VII -The Gallipoli Shell-Diverter for returning the Enemys Fire" There were other theatres of war besides he Western Front

Background imageInvention Collection: Ending in Smoke by Heath Robinson

Ending in Smoke by Heath Robinson
An ingenious smoke screen spreader for preventing embarrassing situations when the bathroom lock is out of order. Hilarious invention by the inimitable Heath Robinson allowing complete discretion for

Background imageInvention Collection: Bridgewater Canal Map

Bridgewater Canal Map
Map showing the route of the proposed canal from Worsley to Manchester and thence to the Mersey, to be built by engineer James Brindley for the duke of Bridgewater

Background imageInvention Collection: Invention of the Cube Car

Invention of the Cube Car. This box-like car, designed by French-Vietnamese designer and engineer Quasar Kahn, was produced in limited numbers between 1967

Background imageInvention Collection: SINGER SEWING MACHINE. Description of Isaac M

SINGER SEWING MACHINE. Description of Isaac M. Singers sewing machine on the front page of the " Scientific American", 1 November 1851

Background imageInvention Collection: Spectroscope (c. 1860) by Bunsen and Kirchhoff, published in 1880

Spectroscope (c. 1860) by Bunsen and Kirchhoff, published in 1880
Spectroscope by Robert Bunsen (German chemist, 1811 - 1899) and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (German physicist, 1824 - 1884). A spectroscope is an optical device

Background imageInvention Collection: Victorian inventions in The Engineer

Victorian inventions in The Engineer
A page of patented engineering and industrial inventions from The Engineer magazine, 1856. Date: 1856

Background imageInvention Collection: Testing a new type of steering gear / W Heath Robinson

Testing a new type of steering gear / W Heath Robinson
Illustration by William Heath Robinson. Please note: Credit must appear as Courtesy of the estate of Mrs J.C.Robinson/Pollinger Ltd/Mary Evans Picture Library

Background imageInvention Collection: HMS Habbakuk in section

HMS Habbakuk in section
Illustration showing a cross section of the top secret design for HMS Habbakuk a giant aircraft-carrier built of ice and wood pulp, which was proposed as a secret weapon in the Second World War

Background imageInvention Collection: Gutenbergs printing press

Gutenbergs printing press
Gutenberg inspects the first sheet of his Bible, which has just come off the press

Background imageInvention Collection: Marconi and his wireless telegraph apparatus, 1899-1900 (silver gelatin print)

Marconi and his wireless telegraph apparatus, 1899-1900 (silver gelatin print)
MNY381513 Marconi and his wireless telegraph apparatus, 1899-1900 (silver gelatin print) by Byron Company (fl.1890-1942); 20.3x25.4 cm; Museum of the City of New York

Background imageInvention Collection: Futuristic long distance airship

Futuristic long distance airship
A futuristic long distance airship held aloft by two long balloons, flying across the sea

Background imageInvention Collection: Eyeglasses for chickens patent, 1903 C024 / 3600

Eyeglasses for chickens patent, 1903 C024 / 3600
Eyeglasses for chickens patent, 1903. Artwork of a device designed by Andrew Jackson Jr. to protect the eyes of chickens from aggressive pecking by other chickens

Background imageInvention Collection: Double bicycle patent, 1905 C024 / 3615

Double bicycle patent, 1905 C024 / 3615
Double bicycle patent, 1905. Artwork of a double bicycle patent invented by Karl Lange. It was designed to perform a loop the loop stunts at circus performances

Background imageInvention Collection: Automaton at the Schoolboys Own Exhibition, 1929

Automaton at the Schoolboys Own Exhibition, 1929
A physiological robot at the Schoolboys Own Exhibition in London, 1929. Designed to show how organs of the body work, here three young visitors take great interest in its insides. Date: 1929

Background imageInvention Collection: Robidas rotating house

Robidas rotating house
Maison tournante arienee or aerial rotating house, one of Albert Robidas futuristic visions of life in the 20th century

Background imageInvention Collection: Sir Francis Ronalds

Sir Francis Ronalds
Portrait of English inventor, Sir Francis Ronalds (1788-1873), inventor of the electric telegraph in 1816. He fitted his garden in Hammersmith with an electric telegraph but was refused when he

Background imageInvention Collection: Hat Wireless 1930S

Hat Wireless 1930S
A man tunes into his hat radio!

Background imageInvention Collection: George Stephensons locomotive, the Rocket

George Stephensons locomotive, the Rocket, which won a prize given by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company

Background imageInvention Collection: LIGHTNING ROD UMBRELLA. Line engraving, French, 1873

LIGHTNING ROD UMBRELLA. Line engraving, French, 1873

Background imageInvention Collection: What every golfer wants by William Heath Robinson

What every golfer wants by William Heath Robinson. Please note: Credit must appear as Courtesy of the estate of Mrs J.C.Robinson/Pollinger Ltd/ILN/Mary Evans Date: 1921

Background imageInvention Collection: First sewing machine, 1846

First sewing machine, 1846
Elias Howes sewing machine, 1846. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageInvention Collection: First Atlantic crossing by steamship, 1819

First Atlantic crossing by steamship, 1819
American paddlewheeler " Savannah, " the first steamship to cross the Atlantic, 1819. Hand-colored woodcut of a 19th-century illustration

Background imageInvention Collection: The Invention of the Art of Drawing (oil on canvas)

The Invention of the Art of Drawing (oil on canvas)
490133 The Invention of the Art of Drawing (oil on canvas) by Suvee, Joseph Benoit (1743-1807); 267x131.5 cm; Groeningemuseum, Bruges, Belgium; (add.info.: In this painting)

Background imageInvention Collection: Diagram of a system for pumping water into a basin, from

Diagram of a system for pumping water into a basin, from
XIR155476 Diagram of a system for pumping water into a basin, from Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices by Al-Djazari, 1206 (vellum) by Islamic School

Background imageInvention Collection: The Great Astronomer Schiaparelli at the Brera Observatory (colour litho)

The Great Astronomer Schiaparelli at the Brera Observatory (colour litho)
2798364 The Great Astronomer Schiaparelli at the Brera Observatory (colour litho) by Beltrame, Achille (1871-1945); Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageInvention Collection: Newcomen steam engine, 1747

Newcomen steam engine, 1747. Thomas Newcomen (1663-1729) designed his atmospheric or steam engine in 1712. Water was heated in the boiler and the resulting steam was let into the cylinder

Background imageInvention Collection: James Nasmyths steam hammer erected in his foundry near Manchester in 1832. Artist: James Nasmyth

James Nasmyths steam hammer erected in his foundry near Manchester in 1832. Artist: James Nasmyth
James Nasmyths steam hammer erected in his foundry near Manchester in 1832. The steam hammer was invented by the Scottish engineer and inventor James Nasmyth (1808-1890)



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"Invention: A Journey Through Time and Imagination" Step into the whimsical world of William Heath Robinson, a mastermind artist who brought fantastical contraptions to life through his intricate illustrations. From his famous "Heath Robinson automated Dining Room without servants" to the peculiar "Pea Apparatus, " each creation is a testament to human ingenuity and creativity. Innovation knows no bounds, as showcased in Robinson's masterpiece, "Ultra-Marine. " This mind-boggling invention transports us underwater, revealing an enchanting realm where imagination reigns supreme. It reminds us that they are not limited by reality but can transcend it entirely. Travel back in time with the revolutionary Gutenberg printing press of the 1450s. This groundbreaking invention revolutionized communication forever, paving the way for knowledge dissemination on an unprecedented scale. The power of words became accessible to all—a true turning point in history. As we marvel at these extraordinary creations, let us not forget those that were met with skepticism or rejection. Like "Rejected by the inventions board, " which serves as a reminder that even geniuses face setbacks along their journey towards progress. Sometimes it takes persistence and unwavering belief for brilliance to be recognized. The first Ferris wheel at Chicago World's Fair in 1893 stands tall as a symbol of innovation and entertainment. Its towering structure offered breathtaking views while captivating hearts worldwide—an iconic invention that continues to inspire awe today. Transportation leaps forward with Crewe Station's grand opening on July 4th, 1837—the birthplace of railway travel excellence. This engineering feat connected people like never before, shrinking distances and fostering new opportunities across nations—a testament to mankind's ability to conquer vast landscapes through sheer determination. From ancient times comes the arquebusse—its use marking a pivotal moment in warfare technology during the 16th century.