DAVENPORT, IOWA (September 23, 2019) — Rube Goldberg: The World of Hilarious Invention! Exhibit will open Saturday, September 28, at the Putnam.

Created by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh in partnership with the Heirs of Rube Goldbergthe exhibition showcases Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist and inventor Rube Goldberg’s iconic contraptions and celebrates his humorous storytelling and inventive cartoons. The exhibition will be on display at the Putnam through January 5.

“The exhibit presents the best of the Putnam,” said Putnam President/CEO Rachael Mullins Steiner, “offering hands-on learning that is engaging and challenging for the entire family, no matter their age or interests.”

Inspired by Rube’s original illustrations, 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. These experiences provide insight into the legacy of Rube Goldberg and how classic engineering principles can be reimagined as entry points for deeper exploration of STEAM concepts for 21st century learning.

Visitors can activate and create crazy chain-reaction contraptions that use everyday objects to complete simple tasks in the most overcomplicated, inefficient and hilarious ways possible! Rube Goldberg machines are many things, but they aren’t perfect. Find the fun in failure as you step into the role of illustrator, storyteller and inventor. You’ll find these things and more in the exhibit:

  • See a Rube-inspired way to paint a picture in the 3D version of Ed Steckley’s “An Epic Way to Paint a Picture”®
  • Move balls and ramps to trigger chain reaction machines in Wall Machines, then figure out how they work by resetting each part.
  • Be inspired by Rube Goldberg’s drawing techniques to create your own hilarious cartoon in the Art Studio and then see how it looks at the Revolvometer.
  • Pull ropes to start a series of musical chain reactions in the large-scale sound animation Music Machine.
  • Step into one of Rube's iconic wearables, “Self-Operating Napkin.”®, for a one-of-a-kind photo op. 

The exhibit will be open seven days a week beginning September 28, during the Putnam’s regular hours (Monday-Saturday, 10AM-5PM, and Sunday, Noon-5PM).

Exhibit admission is included in the price of general admission — $9 for adults, $8 for youth (ages 3-18) and free for members. Seniors, college students and military save $1 on admission.

More information is available on the Putnam’s website, www.putnam.org.

 

About the Putnam

The Putnam has been inspiring ideas, dialogue and interaction among people of all ages for 150 years. And today, we’re better than ever with hands-on fun for the whole family. Launch rockets or interact with a robot in the Science Center, “touch the untouchable” in the Augmented Reality Experience, visit our famous mummies in Unearthing Ancient Egypt, climb into a tree house in Black Earth | Big River, or go back in time to see our region’s history in River, Prairie, and People. Also experience internationally-recognized traveling exhibits or take in a movie in the GIANT Screen Theater with a screen towering six-stories tall. Our welcoming team is dedicated to helping you discover and explore in a friendly and engaging place.

For more information about current and upcoming events, exhibits and movies, visit putnam.org.  

About Rube Goldberg Inc Rube Goldberg Inc is dedicated to keeping laughter and invention alive through the legacy of its namesake. Annual competitions, image licensing, merchandising, and museum and entertainment opportunities continue to grow and enhance the brand. At the helm is Rube’s granddaughter, Jennifer George, whose best-selling book on her grandfather, The Art of Rube Goldberg, is now in its fourth printing. RGI is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting STEM and STEAM education for students of all ages.

About Rube Goldberg Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist best known for his zany invention cartoons. He was born in San Francisco on the 4th of July, 1883 — and graduated from U Cal Berkeley with a degree in engineering. His first job at the San Francisco Chronicle led to early success, but it wasn’t until he moved to NYC and began working for Hearst publications that he became a household name. Rube Goldberg is the only person ever to be listed in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as an adjective. It’s estimated that he did a staggering 50,000 cartoons in his lifetime.

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