Cartoon by W. Heath Robinson

Cartoon by W. Heath Robinson

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Credit: ADAM HART-DAVIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured cartoon by the English cartoonist and illustrator William Heath Robinson (1872-1944) entitled 'Sectional view of the excavations for the Severn Tunnel, showing the hard and fossiliferous nature of the ground to be penetrated'. Robinson was best known for his comical drawings of ridiculously complicated machines designed to achieved simple objectives. This legacy is responsible for the phrase 'Heath Robinson', which entered popular language during the First World War (1914-1918) and is commonly used to describe any unnecessarily complex or implausible contraption. From 'Railway Ribaldry' by Heath Robinson (1935).

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