W. Heath Robinson
(1872-1944)

Died aged c. 72

William Heath Robinson (31 May 1872 – 13 September 1944) was an English cartoonist, illustrator and artist, best known for drawings of whimsically elaborate machines to achieve simple objectives. In the UK, the term "Heath Robinson contraption" gained dictionary recognition around 1912. It became part of popular language during the 1914–1918 First World War as a description of any unnecessarily complex and implausible contrivance. Other cartoonists drew on similar themes, by 1928 the American Rube Goldberg was known for "Rube Goldberg machines" in the United States. "Heath Robinson contraption" is perhaps most commonly 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 Britain's shortages and the need to "make do and mend" during the Second World War.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons

W. Heath Robinson 1872-1944 illustrator and comic artist lived here 1913-1918

75 Moss Lane, Pinner, Harrow, London, United Kingdom where they lived

William Heath Robinson 1872-1944 Artist, illustrator and cartoonist known as the ‘Gadget King’ lived here

25 Southwood Avenue, Highgate, London, United Kingdom where they lived