I don’t think I’ve written about this in my journal or even noted it on my site, but I’m really interested in the phenomena of coincidence and synchronicity.
At dinner recently, I’ve been reading a few pages each day of The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, by John Clute and John Grant. Last night, I left off two-thirds of the way through the page that begins with EMBLETON, RON(ALD SYDNEY).
This evening, just before dinner, I was catching up with Neil Gaiman’s journal, which I hadn’t looked at since Friday. Over the weekend, he had responded to a note that linked a Honda ad, Caractacus Potts’s breakfast-making machine in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and the children’s game Mouse Trap, to Rube Goldberg, by responding that the English had their equivalent of Goldberg in William Heath Robinson, of whom I’d never before heard.
A short while later, at the dinner table, I started in on the next unread entry in the Encyclopedia–EMMET, ROWLAND–another unknown to me. Here are the first two paragraphs:
UK artist and inventor. A fine cartoonist, he was also a draughtsman and engineer. He became known for his succession of large, incredibly intricate “Gothic-Kinetic” inventions. Unlike William Heath ROBINSON [emphasis mine], who merely drew his eccentric contraptions, RE regularly created three-dimensional working models.
The amazing success of his Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Railway at the Festival of Britain in 1951 led to many more commissions, including permanent constructions like “The Rhythmical Time Fountain” at Nottingham, UK, and models built for CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG [emphasis again mine] (1968)…