I have something SOOO special (to ME anyway!) to show you!!!!
take a peek.... warning, it's picture heavy...
It's pretty easy to see where I developed my love for assemblage, automatons and all things of the "gizmo" genre. Dad really loved this sort of thing and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. This is a VERY special bit of "primitive" folk art, created by my father for my little brother and I many years ago. I marvel at it now when I realize how long ago it was and how such toys were still in just the imagination of the mass market. The amount of work and imagination that went into it amazes me more now than it ever did when I was a delighted child. Computers were still in their infancy and so uncommon, that if you take a closer look, you'll see he didn't even know how to spell the word! (and him being such a stickler on our spelling practices too!) LOL!!! That just adds to the quaintness. I also remember him thinking the plastic "label maker" was one of the greatest innovations of our time.... LOL!!! and you can see he sure liked using it!
I'm trying to figure out the year round about when he built it... I was maybe nine or ten years old... perhaps a bit younger. I'm inclined to think it was Christmas of 1966. I'm thinking that Star Trek might have been on TV which is where he would have gotten the inspiration... or was it from "Lost in Space"? I know we still lived in our old house and I was around ten when we moved so it had to be maybe a year earlier. That would make "Lost in Space" or an episode of "Twighligt Zone" as a more probable inspiration.
Thinking of how close I was to losing this piece forever puts a big knot in my gut. It had been long buried in a bunch of "junk" in a storage area and when my mom had to clean everything out she figured that since there were no longer any kids in the family to be amused by it, she put it in the pile of stuff to be discarded. It was only by chance that I discovered and "rescued" it only moments before it would have ended up in the Salvation Army bin. I grabbed it with a leaping heart and brought it home... where I again stashed it out of the way until today. This morning I decided to clean it up and get a look at it's innards. You can't even begin to imagine my amazement when after removing the back panel and checking for dangerous gnawed wires, I plugged it in, turned it on and it still worked!!!! All the lightbulbs even still work!!! I really think dad was looking down and had a hand in THAT!!! Lights shine, there are motors inside that make things spin and twirl adding to the lighting effects and the scanner screen has a rotating drum inside that projects "planets" moving across the screen on the front. Ohhhhh what a wonder it still is, in all it's naivety!!! :-)
I wish he was still here to show me how to wire several motors in a series into things... I would really like to add animation to some projects or just do somethng gizmo-ish like this. I guess I'll have to learn on my own, but I'm sure he'll help in his own way as well as he can from the "other side"!