My old friend Marijke popped by the other day and reminded me of my student days in Brighton. I seem to remember that I was miserable most of the time and spent a lot of time thinking about physics. A coincidence? Perhaps. Anyway, with Brighton Pier in mind, she sent me a link to Tim Hunkin’s ‘Under the Pier’ Show of delightfully pointless machines. I was especially taken by his very early coin-operated machines which are especially crude, but somehow all the more magical for their simplicty. The video below shows several of the machines in action. Enjoy.
It seems amazing to me that such simple mechanisms can appear so shockingly magical. Perhaps that is a measure of my own ham-fistedness. But this basic awareness of how machines function – the basic engineering principles of reciprocating machines – seems to be something which is not taught anywhere. Perhaps it should be. I can imagine that the young Tim Hunkin learned a fanstastic amount in constructing them. I am in awe.
Tags: Tim Hunkin