Rube Goldberg BackgroundRube Goldberg was born Reuben Garrett Lucius Goldberg on July 4, 1883, in San Francisco, California. His parents were Max and Hannah Goldberg. His father was a San Francisco police and fire commissioner. Rube was the second of four children with an older brother Garrett, a younger brother Walter, and a younger sister Lillian.
Rube was always an avid drawer and loved art, however, his father urged him to pursue an eduction in the more practical field of engineering. Rube became a mining engineer after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley in 1904. Right away, Rube was hired by the city of San Francisco as an engineer for the Water and Sewers Department. And that was the last boring job that Rube Goldberg ever held. After six months of working for the Department, Rube quit.
In 1916, Rube Goldberg was married Irma Seeman. The couple resided at 88 Central Park West in New York City and had two sons, Thomas and George. Even though the couple were legitimately married, Rube later insisted that his two sons change their last name. Goldberg's work as a political cartoonist and the controversial views that he expressed in those cartoons, led him to believe that it was not safe for his sons to have the same last name as himself. The sons both choice to change their last names to George, naming themselves Thomas George and George George.
In 1970, Rube Goldberg died at the age of 87.
Professional CartoonistAfter quitting his job with the Water and Sewers Department. Rube starting working his dream job as a sports cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. Well not exactly, Rube started at the San Francisco Chronicle as an office boy, but an office boy who repeatedly submitted his cartoons to the editors until they finally published them.
Later things got even better when Rube Goldberg became a political cartoonist. Over the course of his lifetime, Rube Goldberg worked for five different newspapers: San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Bulletin, New York Journal, American New York Evening Journal, and the New York Evening Mail.
By 1915, Rube had received national syndication of his cartoon series. He wrote several of his cartoons simultaneously: Mike and Ike (They Look Alike), Boob McNutt, Foolish Questions, Lala Palooza and The Weekly Meeting of the Tuesday Women's Club.
In 1948, Rube Goldberg won a Pulitzer Prize for his cartoon about the world being on the edge of nuclear devastation by satirically depicting an atomic bomb as a peace keeping device.
Rube Goldberg MachinesIn 1931, the Merriam-Webster added the word "Rube Goldberg" to their dictionary. Rube Goldberg was an adjective defined as accomplishing something simple through complex means. This new dictionary entry is probably the most telling reflection upon the inventions of Rube Goldberg.
In 1914, a Rube Goldberg Machine was first incorporated into Rube's cartoon strip. The Automatic Weight Reducing Machine was made up of a donut, bomb, wax, balloons and a hot stove. One overweight man was trapped in the machine who apparently had to lose weight to escape.
The official Rube Goldberg website defines a Rube Goldberg contraption as an elaborate set of arms, wheels, gears, handles, cups and rods, put in motion (usually a chain reaction) by balls, canary cages, pails, boots, bathtubs, paddles and live animals and takes a simple task and makes it extraordinarily complicated. For example, how do - How To Get The Cotton Out Of An Aspirin Bottle, Self-Operating Napkin, and a Simple Alarm Clock - all sound? Sound simple? Do visit the official Rube Goldberg gallery and view the invention strips. Nothing Rube Goldberg invented was simple.