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The Professor's Invention For Peeling Potatoes


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Professor Branestawm has become a byword for British eccentricity and irreverent humour, and what better way to celebrate the professor's 85 birthday (he first appeared in print in 1933) than to try to immortalise him in bricks!  Professor Branestawm was created by writer and novelist Norman Hunter (1899-1995) and first illustrated by William Heath Robinson (1872-1944).  William Heath Robinson was a British designer, illustrator and cartoonist, most famous for his designs and illustrations for overcomplicated machines for the simplest tasks. Professor Branestawm's crazy, complicated, impractical but also beautifully illustrated machines reflect perhaps a similar desire to build complicated but inspiring designs with plastic bricks!  


This model build celebrates Heath Robinson's work with Norman Hunter.  Heath Robinson's style fitted perfectly with Hunter's creation of an absent minded professor who is constantly inventing crazy and unwieldy contraptions in his "inventory"!  Although Heath Robinson only illustrated Hunter's first book in the series "The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm" his illustrations set the tone for the look of the madcap professor, his eccentric friends and his hair-brained machines for many years!


The model here shows Professor Branestawm and Mrs Flittersnoop (the Professor's housekeeper) working together on "The Professor's Invention For Peeling Potatoes".  Beautifully overcomplicated, the machine is driven by a pedal system and numerous wheels, cogs and pulleys to rotate the potatoes against a sharp knife.  The progress of the potato peeling is monitored by means of a bell and string system, hung above the professor, and capably managed by Mrs Flittersnoop.        


You can find out more about Professor Branestawm here 
The original illustration that inspired this model is here
And more about the life and work of William Heath Robinson can be found here

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