W. Heath Robinson  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

William Heath Robinson (31 May 1872 – 13 September 1944) was an English cartoonist and illustrator best known for drawings of ridiculously complicated machines for achieving simple objectives.

In the UK, the term "Heath Robinson" entered the 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 U.S. from the 1930s 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 Second World War Britain's shortages and the need to "make do and mend".

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "W. Heath Robinson" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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