Water diviner by W. Heath Robinson

Water diviner 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 'The official water diviner of the company making sure that there is water in the boiler before the commencement of a long run'. 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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