Who is Heath Robinson anyway?
Quite a few times in my life I’ve heard someone describe something as “a bit Health Robinson” usually in reference to something that is held together with string and/or gaffa tape and in some cases could be described as a contraption. I’d never really given any thought to who Heath Robinson was and what he had to do with these improvised constructions. I just accepted it as a turn of phrase and assumed its meaning from context. I never gave it any thought, that is until today when I discovered this colouring book containing a collection of his drawings in a charity shop.
Heath Robinson was a cartoonist who was most active from the 1900s to the 1920s, becoming famous for a large number of drawings of unnecessarily complicated devices for achieving simple tasks. He also illustrated several children’s books.
I didn’t know he was an artist. I guess I’d always assumed he was some sort of inventor, and in a way he was, although his inventions only ever existed on paper.
I’m pleased that none of the pictures in my new book have been coloured in. Partly because this is their original form (the majority of Robinson’s works were black and white line drawings) and partly because it means I can photocopy some of the pages and get my colouring pencils out!
One of my favourite ones in this book, mainly because it reminded me of some friends (you know who you are) is this one:
PS if this post has given you the urge to do some colouring in, you can get hold of the book here.