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The Kid Should See This

How does Joseph Herscher make mind-blowing Rube Goldberg machines?

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If there is an easy way to get from point A to point B, Joseph Herscher isn’t going to take that route when he is building a Rube Goldberg machine. The contraptions are purposely designed to complete a simple task in the most roundabout way possible. Remember the Mouse Trap game? That’s a small-scale Rube Goldberg machine.

The machines Herscher constructs are much more elaborate. Some feed him. Others slather him with sunscreen, or slip him into bed. One lesson Joseph Herscher has learned from creating these intricate machines—you’ve got to be willing to fail to succeed.

And you definitely need to play and have fun. This episode of Great Big Story profiles prolific chain-reaction creator Joseph Herscher of Joseph’s Machines.

Joseph Herscher brushing his teeth
He also shares some Rube Goldberg Machine history, including movies that feature them, and how he comes up with his daring and comical ideas.

Related exploration:

Rube Goldberg illustration
Joseph Herscher
Find Herscher on Patreon, Instagram, YouTube, and TKSST, including these favorites:
• The Dinner Feeder
• What’s Your Problem: The Compost Thrower
• The Page Turner
Science Extras from Jiwi’s (Rube Goldberg) Machines
Six Puzzle Machines: Can you predict what will happen?

Bonus video: Charlie Chaplin and the Billows Feeding Machine, a clip from Modern Times (1936)

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