The Pythagoras Switch

Eli Whitney Museum

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Rube Goldberg in Japan

The Pythagoras Switch


2016 Summer Program

A hundred year ago, Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg, then "the world's most famous newspaper cartoonist" brought his work to life in a brand new medium – animated cartoons. Rube Goldberg's drawings were already lively. He drew preposterous contraptions to solve simple problems. Those cartoons have inspired inventive spirits around the world. Among the most magnificent of these heirs: the constructions of Pythagoras Switch, a Japanese television program for children.

Master the art and precision that makes these Japanese constructions riveting and reliable. Invent your own stunts of balance, momentum, triggers and traps. Join the class in creating a 50 foot relay. Construct a toolbox (organized with Japanese attention to detail) to carry all of your parts home to create your own inventions.

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