A week or two back I visited Snowsparkle's blog and she was recounting how she had set up a contraption of strings and pots as a bear alarm when she was camping. Impressed, I said that Heath Robinson would be proud of her. She confessed to never having heard of Heath Robinson, so I am posting a couple of his pictures.
He loved drawing the most convoluted machines made of strings, pulleys, weights, buckets, whatever. The machine above is some sort of potato peeler. The one below is picking up cigarette butts from the street.
I suspect he is the spiritual inspiration for Wallace and Gromit.