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Machine Collection

"Machines: A Tapestry of Innovation and Power" From the battlefields to the city streets, machines have shaped our world in countless ways

Background imageMachine Collection: The War of the Worlds

The War of the Worlds
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS A Martian fighting-machine is destroyed by a hit from a shell

Background imageMachine Collection: Free French - Honour the Maquis

Free French - Honour the Maquis. The Maquis were rural guerrilla bands of French Resistance fighters, called maquisards, during the Occupation of France in World War II Date: circa 1941

Background imageMachine Collection: Winston Churchill Holding a Sub-Machine Gun

Winston Churchill Holding a Sub-Machine Gun
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) - pictured holding a Sub-Machine Gun. Date: circa 1940

Background imageMachine Collection: AI IMAGE - Portrait of Alan Turing, 1950s, (2023). Creator: Heritage Images

AI IMAGE - Portrait of Alan Turing, 1950s, (2023). Creator: Heritage Images
AI IMAGE - Portrait of Alan Turing, 1950s, (2023). British mathematician, logician and code breaker Alan Turing (1912-1954) joined the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park

Background imageMachine Collection: IBM Electronic Composer, 1970s

IBM Electronic Composer, 1970s
IBM Electronic Composer. This model of typewriter is an example of an IBM Selectric typewriter, all of which used typeballs (one see at centre left)

Background imageMachine Collection: Margate Beach early 1900s

Margate Beach early 1900s

Background imageMachine Collection: Spring cleaning in Highgate woods (litho)

Spring cleaning in Highgate woods (litho)
1090681 Spring cleaning in Highgate woods (litho) by Robinson, William Heath (1872-1944); Private Collection; (add.info.: Spring cleaning in Highgate woods)

Background imageMachine Collection: Horn & Hardart Automat, New York City, USA

Horn & Hardart Automat, New York City, USA
Horn & Hardart Automat, 57th Street and 6th Avenue, New York City, USA, one of a large chain of cafes and restaurants serving over half a million people per day. Date: circa 1930

Background imageMachine 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 imageMachine Collection: New British Sten gun by G. H. Davis

New British Sten gun by G. H. Davis
The Sten gun: the new British machine gun, introduced during the Second World War, explained in detail. It is a simplified Tommy-gun that fires almost any type of 9mm ammunition at 550 rounds per

Background imageMachine Collection: Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) holding tommy gun while visiting America

Background imageMachine Collection: Singer Sewing Machines - factory in Clydebank

Singer Sewing Machines - factory in Clydebank, Scotland. 1932

Background imageMachine 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 imageMachine 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 imageMachine Collection: At the Start of the Cresta Run, St. Moritz, 1912

At the Start of the Cresta Run, St. Moritz, 1912
Photograph showing a member of the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club leaping onto his machine at the top of the Cresta Run, 1912. This famous course was first laid out in 1884

Background imageMachine Collection: Transportable Ciderpress

Transportable Ciderpress
A transportable cider press in use at Pensford, Somerset South-west England) : the fruit is first ground in a mill, then crushed in a press to extract the cider

Background imageMachine Collection: John Moses Browning

John Moses Browning
JOHN MOSES BROWNING American inventor of automatic pistols, rifles etc : shown with one of his machine guns

Background imageMachine Collection: Apollo 17 astronaut

Apollo 17 astronaut. US astronaut and geologist Dr Harrison Schmitt exploring the Taurus-Littrow region of the Moon, as part of NASAs Apollo 17 mission

Background imageMachine Collection: Curiosity rover, artwork

Curiosity rover, artwork
NASAs next Mars rover, the Curiosity Rover, will land at the foot of a layered mountain inside the planets Gale Crater. Launch is palneed for November/ December 2011

Background imageMachine Collection: Sixth Column Strategy

Sixth Column Strategy
Stout patriots dislodge an enemy machine gun post from the dome of St. Pauls using the usual Heath Robinson cunning! Please note

Background imageMachine Collection: Horse-drawn harvester

Horse-drawn harvester
Two shire horses pull a farmer sitting asride an basic harvesting machine. Painting by Malcolm Greensmith

Background imageMachine Collection: SINGER SEWING MACHINE. 19th century wood engraving

SINGER SEWING MACHINE. 19th century wood engraving

Background imageMachine Collection: VESPA SCOOTER 1960S

VESPA SCOOTER 1960S
Couple on a VESPA - the machine whose glamorous image is one of the popular icons of the decade, a symbol of freedom and youth

Background imageMachine Collection: Polish cavalry at the start of World War Two

Polish cavalry at the start of World War Two
Poland as a military power: cavalry, tanks and infantry (part of a spread in the Illustrated London News). Polands impressive horse cavalry are seen here, probably the best in Europe (the ILN says)

Background imageMachine Collection: St-Leonards-on-Sea

St-Leonards-on-Sea
Bathing machines shelter shy holidaymakers from prying eyes at St-Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, circa 1895. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Background imageMachine Collection: The Kino Cinema, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

The Kino Cinema, Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex
The Kino Cinema in Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex. This was the towns first cinema. Cycle racks for the use of patrons were a feature. circa 1935

Background imageMachine Collection: John Deere combine harvester, harvesting Barley (Hordeum vulgare) crop

John Deere combine harvester, harvesting Barley (Hordeum vulgare) crop, filling trailer pulled by tractor with grain, England, july

Background imageMachine 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 imageMachine Collection: Daily Telegraph - printing room 1900

Daily Telegraph - printing room 1900
Daily Telegraph, printing room in Fleet Street, London. Date: 1900

Background imageMachine Collection: Martian landscape, Spirit rover image

Martian landscape, Spirit rover image
Martian landscape. False-colour image of the Martian surface taken by NASAs Mars exploration rover Spirit between the 23rd and 24th November 2005. Part of the rover can be seen at bottom centre

Background imageMachine Collection: Machine gun diagrams

Machine gun diagrams
Full page diagrams and illustration showing the workings of the Hotchkiss and Lewis machine-guns, used widely by the British army during World War I

Background imageMachine Collection: Hand block printing at Crysede Island Works, St Ives, Cornwall. Probably 1930s

Hand block printing at Crysede Island Works, St Ives, Cornwall. Probably 1930s
Alec Walker left Mirfield, Yorkshire, in 1918 to set up a small experimental textile factory in Newlyn where wood-block printed silk fabrics and garments were designed and manufactured

Background imageMachine Collection: Mixing treated asbestos fibre, Heath Robinson machine

Mixing treated asbestos fibre, Heath Robinson machine
Efficient plant for the successful mixing of treated asbestos fibre with cement. A drawing done by William Heath Robinson for Turners Asbestos Cement Co

Background imageMachine Collection: Patent double action grinder for asbestos by Heath Robinson

Patent double action grinder for asbestos by Heath Robinson
A patent double-action grinder for mashing asbestos fibre - a drawing done for Turners Asbestos Cement Co by William Heath Robinson, renowned for his machines and convoluted contraptions. Date: c.1925

Background imageMachine Collection: Bryant and May Match Factory

Bryant and May Match Factory
Girls feeding a machine at the Bryant & May match factory, in Bow, East London, at the time a tax on matches was being discussed in the budget. Date: 1916

Background imageMachine Collection: Bathing machine owner and swimming master, Essex

Bathing machine owner and swimming master, Essex
Pictured in front of his bathing machines on the beach at Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex, is Charlie Bates with some of his family and the horse which hauled the machines down to the waters edge and back

Background imageMachine Collection: Puffing Devil locomotive, artwork

Puffing Devil locomotive, artwork
Puffing Devil locomotive. Diagrams and text explaining Richard Trevithicks (1771-1833) Puffing Devil steam locomotive. This full-size locomotive, which was built in 1801

Background imageMachine Collection: Permanent Hair-Waving machine, 1928

Permanent Hair-Waving machine, 1928
Curls are attached by the flex to the chandelier-like electrical machine. This device was exhibited at the Hairdressers Annual Exhibion at the White City, 1928

Background imageMachine Collection: Leonardo Helicopter

Leonardo Helicopter
LEONARDO DA VINCI Sketch of a flying machine which seems in some respects to anticipate the helicopter, though the technology is not clear

Background imageMachine Collection: Poster, Ransomes Lawnmowers

Poster, Ransomes Lawnmowers, sold by Broughton & Wilks, Banbury. circa 1900s

Background imageMachine Collection: St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning Wool for the Poor, 1901

St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning Wool for the Poor, 1901. Elizabeth (1207-1231) was the daughter of Andras II of Hungary. After the death in 1227 of her husband Louis IV, Landgrave of Thuringia

Background imageMachine 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 imageMachine Collection: British RAF aeroplanes in 1939 by G. H. Davis

British RAF aeroplanes in 1939 by G. H. Davis
The huge array of aircraft in the RAF in 1939, imposing for its size and variety. 37 types of machine, ranging from the Sunderland flying boat to light trainers

Background imageMachine Collection: American M1 Abrams army tank with soldier in the hatch by machine gun

American M1 Abrams army tank with soldier in the hatch by machine gun

Background imageMachine Collection: SEWING MACHINE, c1890. Wheeler & Wilson industrial sewing machine. Line engraving, c1890

SEWING MACHINE, c1890. Wheeler & Wilson industrial sewing machine. Line engraving, c1890

Background imageMachine Collection: Pifco electric vibratory massager

Pifco electric vibratory massager
Beauty that is yours sincerely: 1950s electric vibratory massager, claiming to help you keep slim and trim, promotes a healthy scalp, affords relief for tired feet and many muscular aches and pains

Background imageMachine Collection: Royal Wedding 1923 - Heath Robinson humour

Royal Wedding 1923 - Heath Robinson humour
A Great Grand Stand. A comfortable suggestion for viewing future Royal Weddings by William Heath Robinson. An onlooker manages to balance a cosy armchair on top of a lamp post complete with rice

Background imageMachine Collection: German machine gun in street, Grandpre, France, WW1

German machine gun in street, Grandpre, France, WW1
German machine gun in a street in Grandpre, north eastern France, during the First World War. American troops of the 312nd Machine Gun Company, 78th Division, eventually entered the town



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"Machines: A Tapestry of Innovation and Power" From the battlefields to the city streets, machines have shaped our world in countless ways. In this captivating collection of images, we witness the indomitable spirit of human ingenuity intertwined with these mechanical marvels. Winston Churchill, a symbol of unwavering determination, holds a sub-machine gun firmly in his grasp. His resolute gaze reflects the power that they can bestow upon those who wield them. In New York City's bustling Horn & Hardart Automat, people gather around automated food dispensers - a testament to how machines revolutionize even our most basic needs. The British Sten gun by G. H. Davis showcases precision engineering and innovation during times of conflict. It stands as a reminder that they can be both tools for destruction and instruments for survival. William Heath Robinson's whimsical Pea Apparatus transports us into a realm where imagination meets machinery. This intricate contraption reminds us that sometimes, even the simplest tasks can be transformed into elaborate feats through ingenious design. A transportable cider press captures the essence of rural craftsmanship brought to life by machine-assisted efficiency. It serves as an ode to tradition meeting modernity on farms across the globe. The Singer Sewing Machines factory in Clydebank hums with activity as workers diligently stitch together fabrics with precision and skill. Here lies evidence that machines empower individuals to create beauty from thread and fabric. Heath Robinson strikes again with "A Decided Catch, " depicting an absurd yet delightful contraption designed for fishing enthusiasts seeking unconventional methods to reel in their prized catch, and is a playful reminder that sometimes it is not just about achieving results but also embracing creativity along the way. Winston Churchill appears once more at the start line of St. Moritz's Cresta Run in 1912 – an embodiment of courage amidst exhilarating speed made possible by man-made mechanisms pushing boundaries beyond imagination.