The Art of Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was an American author, humorist, sculptor, inventor, engineer and a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist. He is best known for his comical inventions such as those below that were syndicated in newspapers around the world.



Merriam-Webster lists Rube Goldberg as an adjective meaning: doing something simple in a very complicated way that is not necessary and this train of thought is what’s illustrated above. This imaginative genius is what made Rube famous – creating complex machines to complete the simplest task by way of wacky chain reactions. It has also inspired many to create similar machines and is the motivation behind the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.


The content is an annual competition that takes place nationally and challenges teams of student from middle school to college to compete in building the most entertaining and extravagant Rube Goldberg Machine.  See below for an example:

This month the release of the book titled: The Art of Rube Goldberg has been released.  This book was compiled by Jennifer George, Rube’s granddaughter and celebrates Rube’s life with cartoons, photos, essays and about 700 color illustrations.  Just in time for the holiday season – check it out!