THIS JUST IN: A hands-on opportunity to be able to create ‘Rube Goldberg’ contraptions

Beginning Saturday, Jan. 18, visitors to the Indiana State Museum will be able to explore – and create – machines that work in as inefficient and silly a way as possible, in the traveling exhibit, Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention!

This exhibition showcases humorist and inventor Rube Goldberg’s iconic contraptions and celebrates his humorous storytelling and inventive cartoons. In the exhibit, visitors will be able to activate and create crazy chain-reaction contraptions that use everyday objects to complete simple tasks in the most overcomplicated, inefficient and hilarious ways possible. 

Goldberg himself was born in 1883, and he went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist best known for his zany invention cartoons. He graduated from University of California at Berkeley with a degree in engineering. He’s the only person ever to be listed in the dictionary as an adjective, and it’s estimated that he created 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime. 

The exhibit contains a collection of new 3D, life-size machines and hands-on, interactive components that connect Rube’s iconic cartoon contraptions to the way things work in the physical world. Visitors will find the fun in failure as they step into the role of illustrator, storyteller and inventor. 

“Our visitors will have an opportunity to be creative and have fun in this experience that’s perfect for kids of all ages – and adults,” said Cathy Ferree, president and CEO of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. “This exhibit is a great opportunity for all to test their problem-solving skills.”  

The exhibit will be open through May 10 and is included with purchase of general admission. 

Photo above: Rube Goldberg was known for creating complex machines to perform otherwise simple tasks, but showing how things work.