“Rube Goldberg knew how to get from “A” to “B” using every letter in the alphabet.”
— Art Spiegelman
“A Rube Goldberg Machine is an intentionally delightful waste of time and energy.”
— Jimmy Kimmel
“No matter how thin you slice it, it’s still boloney.”
— Rube Goldberg
Rube Goldberg’s training as an engineer informed every aspect of his work as a cartoonist. From a group of women in The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday Ladies’ Club touring a pretzel factory and gazing in awe as a marvelously elaborate machine churns out pretzels, to a one-man band in Lala Palooza, to the charming and imaginative contraption animals in Boob McNutt’s ark, Rube’s mechanical mind can be seen throughout his entire life’s work. But at the dawn of the industrial revolution, when modern appliances, gizmos, and gadgets were primed to change our lives for the better, Rube’s work struck a nerve with the American public as he cast his satirical eye on the machine age.
The inventions that made Rube Goldberg a household name were those attributed to his alter-ego, Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. They were rendered in the exact style of US Patent applications with each transfer of energy annotated by a letter so that the reader could follow the chain reaction sequence. Rube’s inventions were designed to work, but drawn for laughs. He set every day objects in motion, along with anthropomorphic animals, bugs and birds, and an array of oddly distinguished humans to complete the task at hand.