To 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).