Have you ever heard something described as a “Rube Goldberg” machine? Or, have you ever seen a ridiculously complicated contraption that accomplished a simple task? Then you have seen Rube Goldberg’s influence.
Rube Goldberg was a sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, but is best known for a series of popular cartoons he created depicting complex devices that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted ways – now known as Rube Goldberg machines.
Below are video clips of Rube Goldberg machines:
This one uses only photographic equipment, and is one of the best I’ve seen:
This is a very clever Honda commercial
Goldberg drew cartoons that featured all sorts of wacky ideas for doing the simplest of tasks, and there are now Rube Goldberg machine building events and contests held at high school science fairs and other venues around the country. Building a Rube Goldberg machine is time consuming, complicated and takes a lot of trial and error, but watching one work is enormously fun.
Here’s one more fine video:
Seven year old Audri made his own Rube Goldberg machine to trap monsters. In this terriffic video he explains what the machine will do before activating it. This is a kid that will go far in life.
A classic Tom and Jerry cartoon finds Tom using a Rube Goldberg machine to catch Jerry, which, predictably, goes wrong: