William Heath Robinson (31 May 1872 – 13 September 1944) was an English cartoonist, illustrator and artist, best known for drawings of whimsically elaborate machines to achieve simple objectives.
In the UK, the term “Heath Robinson” entered the popular language during the 1914–1918 First World War as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contrivance, much as “Rube Goldberg machines” came to be used in the United States from the 1920s onwards as a term for similar efforts.
“Heath Robinson contraption” is perhaps more often used in relation to temporary fixes using ingenuity and whatever is to hand, often string and tape, or unlikely cannibalisations. Its continuing popularity was undoubtedly linked to Britain’s shortages and the need to “make do and mend” during the Second World War.
Since we’re on the Andersen’s Fairy Tales subject, I’d like to present another great illustrator of the Golden Age. William Heath Robinson and his Hans Andersen‘s Fairy Tales. Fist edition, published by Constable, 1913. Many of you are already familiar with his whimsical and humorous illustrations, if you are not, it’s time to get familiar, his “inventions” illustrations are truly remarkable.
W.Heath Robinson has a long and prolific career, as an author and illustrators for books, magazines, pamphlets, ads … you named it. He did it all. Many are quite rare and difficult to get a hold of. But rest assured, I will post more if I get a chance to acquire more materials from this fun loving, genius illustrator. In the mean time, enjoy.