Re-Introduction of Rube Goldberg in books and Inventions.


Publishers have decided that it is time for more people to know who Rube Goldberg is again. While he was definitely famous during his lifetime, not everyone knows him and people who don’t know him just could not be blamed. After all, Rube Goldberg had been dead for decades. Young people should be given the nudge in terms of liking Goldberg.

Inventions! – A Postcard Book

A great way of nudging new people towards Rube Goldberg is the compilation prepared by Maynard Frank Wolfe. The compilation actually comes in the form of a postcard book entitled “Rube Goldberg’s Inventions!” Yes, that book makes use of the exclamation point, which really best expresses the works of the late cartoonist-engineer. The book’s cover features one of his most well-known contraptions, the Self-Operating Napkin in full color.

Build a Better Mousetrap

A book with the above title has been published with the Rube Goldberg machine in mind. Well, the book’s description may not tell you outright that it is inspired by Goldberg but the title somehow alludes to the game called Mousetrap, and that one has been inspired by the cartoonist-engineer’s works. Also, the book tries to teach and inspire inventors how to think outside of the box and to take old inventions and try to turn them around, re-invent them according to their own thought processes. That is, after all, what Rube Goldberg is all about – thinking of new ways to perform familiar tasks.

Mad Magazine Spin-Off

Decades after Foolish Questions, a feature similar to it popped up in Mad Magazine. The name of the said feature is Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions. Even people within the comic/cartooning community recognized the value of what Rube Goldberg had to offer. Al Jaffe, a popular Mad Magazine cartoonist, was in charge of the feature.

Other Rube Goldberg Comic Compilations

You will find some compilations of Rube Goldberg’s other comics in bookstores. For example, Foolish Questions have been compiled into one easy to bring along book. You may try finding compilations of some of your other favorite Goldberg comics.


We learn about people we have not met or have not had the luck to live in the same era with through books. Most of us now just remember the latter half of the twentieth century as well as the early rise of the twenty-first. Some, who are still too young, only know bits of the past century if at all. So, books about Rube Goldberg or at least compilations of his work will introduce or re-introduce him to people who love inventions and cartoons. Continue to next page.

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