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Home Page Machines Old Engines CaperGrams/Phrases Confectionery Steam Locomotive Location & Contact Links

Welcome to my Crazy Machines Page!


I have always been fascinated by basic applied mechanics. The story of its evolution during the Industrial Revolution (up to about 1950)
I find particularly compelling. This is all low-tech by today's standards but it remains fundamental to all modern industry and technology.
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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).

overhead belts machinery.jpg (240040 bytes)Prior 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 life.

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. gen1.jpg (199148 bytes) inside1.jpg (85255 bytes)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 display.
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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.
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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'.
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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 description.

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