311F: Whacky inventions and contraptions (Solved)

 

I remember looking at this book in the mid 80s, so it was probably published around that time or before. It was a large book and, as I recall, every page was completely filled with full-colour image of many inventions/contraptions, all set in context. It was highly detailed annotated with descriptions. I don’t recall there being any narrative.

For example: one page showed a house with all the rooms in view. Each room had things going on all annotated with detailed little notes. I remember the bathroom had a special invention that allowed a cheeky child to lie in a bath without getting wet. Built into this contraption was a hidden computer game console which allowed them to secretly play games (to me this dates the book in the 80s). To emulate the sounds of him bathing, another contraption stood near by called the “bath-farter” or something.

Another page showed a huge wheel of mischief rolling down a street with arms extending from it. These arms could rattle windows or throw sot down chimneys. Again – the wheel was annotated with many notes.

Authors/illustrators I thought it might be but sadly aren’t are: Heath Robinson, Alan Snow, Donna Lugg, Steven M Johnson and Raymond Briggs.

I’ve been looking for this book for many years and any help would be very gratefully received.

 

6 thoughts on “311F: Whacky inventions and contraptions (Solved)

  1. Perhaps it’s Rodney “Rootle’s Grown-Up Grappler and Other Treasures from the Museum of Outlawed Inventions” by Chris Winn and Jeremy Beadle?

    • Hello Mary. Yes! It WAS Rodney “Rootle’s Grown-Up Grappler and Other Treasures from the Museum of Outlawed Inventions”.

      Thank you SO much for your suggestion. I’ve spent two decades looking for it and I’m so happy to have found out what it is at last.

      You’re my hero.

      Thanks again.
      :o)

  2. Maybe the Beaver Book of Crazy Inventions? The picture of the cover on Amazon shows a kid lying in bed under a shower. Published by Hamlyn Publications, April 30, 1981. There’s also a Beaver Book of Great Inventions, but with things like a date stamp on the cover, I suspect the first option is more likely.

  3. Thank you both. I’m pretty sure it’s not the Beaver Book of Crazy Inventions although it’s a great suggestion.

    However – it might well be Rodney Rootle’s Grown-Up Grappler and Other Treasures from the Museum of Outlawed Inventions! The artistic style of the picture on the front looks very much like what I remember of the book. I cannot find any images of inside the book online so I will track down a copy and take a look.

    Thank you for your comments. I will let you know how I get on.

  4. Thanks to Mary this one is now solved. The book is:

    “Rodney Rootle’s Grown-Up Grappler and Other Treasures from the Museum of Outlawed Inventions” by Chris Winn and Jeremy Beadle.

    Thanks again, Mary.

  5. YES!!!!!!!!

    My father bought it for me at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, WA back in the mid to late 80s. I have been searching for this book for at least a decade, but couldn’t remember the name (I thought it had “way out and wacky inventions in it” in the title). I made a post on Reddit earlier today about it, then somehow found this site. The searched for “wacky inventions” and this was the first result. I just ordered a used copy on Amazon for super cheap!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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