Saturday, November 16, 2013

the Heath Robinson engine


This whimsical model was displayed at the NZ Centennial Exhibition in Wellington over 1939-1940.  From a report in the NZ Railways Magazine of January 1940: "One of the highlights for me is the Heath Robinson engine, in which a skilful model artist has given his fancy full throttle. I have not room for the full tally of this wildly humourous cartoon in steel. The cab is a “Home Away from Home,” complete with mantelpiece, grate, clock, family photographs, a wall text, fender, fire-irons, and so on. The “Cowcatcher” has a large mattress on which the newly collected cow reclines in comfort. There is a “wheel wobble determinator” for use after derailments, and there are two pairs of bollards to moor the engine when left overnight anywhere. There are window flower-boxes, hot-water bottles hang gracefully, and there is a fire escape ladder behind the tender. The periscope is also worth some guesswork as to its use. This locomotive gently claims that it “sets a new standard in train comfort.”

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