Goldberg, Rube

Tagged: Art | Author

(1883-1970) US cartoonist, illustrator, screenwriter, Comics writer and author, active from around 1904. He is of sf interest primarily for his humorous cartoons (see Humour) featuring Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts and his Inventions. As with the work his contemporary, W Heath Robinson, many of these inventions lampoon some of the technological excesses of the First Industrial Age, featuring enormously complex Machines constructed to accomplish simple or sometimes unlikely tasks, usually through a process of surreal chain reaction. In book form, beginning with Foolish Questions: What's in this Book? (graph 1909), Goldberg released cartoons and verbal spoofs, though his publications were not well organized; the spoofs assembled in The Rube Goldberg Plan for the Post-War World (graph 1944) can be seen, though stretching the point, as set in the Near Future. Beyond Rube Goldberg versus the Machine Age: A Retrospective Exhibition of His Work, with Memoirs and Annotations by Rube Goldberg (graph 1968) and The Best of Rube Goldberg (graph 1979), there seems to have been no attempt to assemble his best work. [JC]

Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg

born San Francisco, California: 4 July 1883

died New York: 7 December 1970

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