Welcome to my Crazy Machines Page!
CRAZY MACHINES DEMONSTRATING BASIC
I have always been fascinated by basic applied
mechanics. The story of its evolution during the Industrial Revolution (up to
I find particularly compelling. This
is all low-tech by today's standards but it remains fundamental to all modern
industry and technology.
During my childhood my father took me to a
variety of local factories and industrial establishments to observe and
experience the typical industrial milieu of the time. I found these
industrial environments totally captivating and quite unforgettable. In particular, I enjoyed the huge
Ronaldson and Tippet
engine factory in Ballarat (Victoria, Australia).
to the 1950's factories typically consisted of a huge power plant (usually a
steam or Diesel engine), which drove endless shafts, pulleys, belts, gears,
levers and pushrods which, in turn, drove the various production machines
spread around the factory premises. All mechanisms were visible and the
whole plant was a sea of pulsating movement and noise. I found myself hooked for
Todays manufacturing plants are
technologically brilliant but the mechanisms are generally fully enclosed
and each is driven by its own compact electric motor. There is little to see
and even less atmosphere.
My aim with Confectionery Capers is to
recapture a little of this ambience and present it in a fascinating and
stimulating display with appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. My sentiments are best summarised
by a poem titled 'THE
FACTORY' by Annie Flint.
Within the building
at Confectionery Capers there are scores of crazy machines on display. Nearly all of them are hand built on the premises and each demonstrates some
aspect of basic applied mechanics.
The majority are operated by push buttons located on top of the safety fence and
easily accessible to all visitors.
Other types of machines on display are permanently connected to an
overhead belt and pulley system (collectively called LINE SHAFTING).
There is constant movement and activity wherever one looks (just
as in the previously mentioned Ronaldson and Tippet factory). The line
shafting is set up so that it can be driven by any of the Antique Engines on
display (or by a more modern Electric Motor).
Examine some of the CRAZY MACHINES depicted below
and you will soon begin to appreciate the unique nature of CONFECTIONERY
CAPERS. These are just some of the scores of such creations on
These hand built machines vary in size and
complexity. Most use basic mechanical principles to present and
display confectionery in novel and thought provoking ways.
Much of the confectionery can be purchased at
the small Confectionery Shop. This is, of course, in keeping with the name of
the attraction - 'Confectionery Capers'.
One particularly special machine is known as THE
ENIGMA and is the most complex display in the building. It is called
THE ENIGMA because it is so bizarre that no other
name does it justice. Take a quick look at its page for a more detailed