Without this knowledge – you would be a Heath-en

heath robinson illustrationTo be a Heath-en you need to know about this English cartoonist and  illustrator, Heath Robinson  who is best known for his drawings of eccentric machines. As a concept, the term “Heath Robinson” is often used to describe unnecessarily complex and implausible contraptions for temporary fixes; which uses ingenuity and whatever is to hand.  It can also involve items such as string and tape, to help solve each problem.

William Heath Robinson was born into a family of artists on 31st May, 1872, at 25 Ennis Road at Stroud Green, London and his early career involved illustrating books including:

  • Hans Christian Andersen’s Danish Fairy Tales and Legends (1897);
  • The Arabian Nights, (1899);
  • Tales From Shakespeare (1902),
  • Twelfth Night (1908),
  • Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1913),
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1914),
  • Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies (1915)
  • Walter de la Mare’s Peacock Pie (1916).

In the course of his work, Heath Robinson also wrote and illustrated three children’s books:

  • The Adventures of Uncle Lubin (1902),
  • Bill the Minder (1912); and
  • Peter Quip in Search of a Friend (1922)

During WW1 Robinson drew large numbers of cartoons depicting “supposed” secret weapons being used by the combatants; and produced a steady stream of humorous drawings for magazines and advertisements.

  • Heath Robinson died on 13th September 1944.

The above image is an illustration by Heath Robinson entitled: Sultan and Mer-kid, (1912).

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Source: Heath Robinson Railway Ribaldry Duckworth: London 1974
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