Rowland Emett was a cartoonist for Punch magazine, artist, inventor and builder of whimsical, mechanical 'Things'. Some of his more famous work to younger generations are the car and inventions that appeared in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But to older generations his 'Emettland', 'Much Baking Halt', 'Featherstone Kite' and many other weird and wonderful mechanical devices stick in the memory.
But for how long?
With a few exceptions like the Emett Clock in the Victoria Shopping Centre, Nottingham and another clock in Basildon, there is little of his work on permanent display in the UK. Exhibitions of his machines can be seen in the US and Canada in both permanent and seasonal exhibitions but much in the UK is in private collections only rarely being seen in public. Maybe it is time that changed.
If you are unfamiliar with the work of Rowland Emett this video, by David Sweeney, of the machines in the Ontario Science Centre gives an introduction to his work (best seen full screen in HD):