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Daily Archives: September 6, 2011

Know Thy History: Rube Goldberg

Rube Goldberg is one of the most accomplished cartoonists in history. He was a founding member and first president of the National Cartoonists society. He won a Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning in 1948. In 1959, he won the Banshee’s Silver Lady Award.

Goldberg was a highly prolific busybody. He drew cartoons for five papers, including the New York Evening Journal and the New York Evening Mail. He was responsible for several cartoon series with colorful titles like Mike and Ike (They Look Alike), Boob McNutt (some sort of comic about a porn star, I’m guessing), Foolish Questions, Lala Palooza (no relation to the music festival), and The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday Women’s Club (no relation to The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency … I think).

Late in his career, Rube Goldberg took up sculpting. It turned out he was good at that, too. In fact, he was so good that one of his pieces won him his first ever Rueben Award … which, incidentally, was named after him. The statuette used for the award, in fact, is based on one of Goldberg’s pieces.

Goldberg also worked a little in film. Hr wrote a feature film called Soups to Nuts which starred the Three Stooges. He was a man of many talents, too many to list here In fact, there seems to be a fairly big thing he’s known for that I’m forgetting. Was it the US postage stamp series that commemorated the cartoonist? No, that’s not it.

Oh, wait… that’s right.

He’s the man who invented the “Rube Goldberg machine.”

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