Wacky Widgets, Weird and Ingenious everyday Inventions – for hire to museums
A unique collection of over 1500 off-beat innovations, from the last 150 years, is available for hire (in aid of disability charities).
About the collection
The collection built up over the last 35 years contains some of the most weird and eccentric labour saving devices ever thought up by the imagination of people hoping to strike it rich by their creation.
The clockwork teas-made patented in 1902 in Birmingham was an ingenious method of awakening the slumberer and having ready a piping hot cup of tea, and the clockwork burglar alarm, which, when placed under the door at night will awake you by a loud bell if the door is pushed (a thought for today’s manufacturers). These are just two of the ‘Heath-Robinson’ style contraptions in the collection.
The very first whistling kettle from 1875 was invented to make sure that a certain Mr Bloods wife was aware that the kettle was boiling and that he wanted his tea, ensuring that it should take priority over other house work.
The list is endless Maurice Collins said ”the crazier the item, the more I felt it should be in the collection, who has heard of a system of smoking 2 cigarettes at the same time or a semi-automatic cherry pipper or a portable moustache protector to save you getting your upper lip covered in soup”. The items in his collection range from a full-sized late Victorian washing machine to a small curled item (from the ’20’s) which ensured you always have the end of your cotton available on the cotton reel!
The gadgets have been exhibited at 30 museums across the UK and the rest of Europe. Enormous interest has been generated at each venue from both the publicity angle and from a general educational aspect.
Hiring the collection
The collection can be hired, usually 150 to 200 artefacts with descriptions for a minimum of 8 weeks, cost £125 per week with the carriage extra. Maurice will also give a talk, assist with any promotional ideas and support the museum in any way he can.
Everyday inventions 1851-1951
How to hire
Contact Maurice by calling 07796 991140 or 020 8883 8762 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org