27 December 1950
Hammersmith, London, England
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Known for|| The Secret Life of Machines |
Under the Pier Show
|Fields|| Engineering |
Tim Hunkin (born Timothy Mark Trelawney Hunkin, 27 December 1950 in London) is an English engineer, cartoonist, writer, and artist living in Suffolk, England. He is best known for creating the Channel Four television series The Secret Life of Machines ,in which he explains the workings and history of various household devices. He has also created museum exhibits for institutions across the UK, and designed numerous public engineering works, chiefly for entertainment. Hunkin's works are distinctive, often recognisable by his unique style of papier-mâché sculpture (made from unpainted newsprint), his pen and ink cartoons, and his offbeat sense of humour.
Hunkin enrolled in 1969, and graduated in engineering science from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in 1972.
Hunkin's Under the Pier Showat Southwold Pier, England, is a penny arcade featuring a number of humorous, coin-operated machines of his creation. Attractions include the "Autofrisk" (a device that simulates the experience of being frisked by multiple, inflated rubber gloves), the "Bathyscape" (a device that simulates a brief submarine adventure) and a somewhat rude sculptural clock. Hunkin has also opened Novelty Automation, an amusement arcade in Holborn, London, which has a more satirical tone, of which Hunkin has said "I don’t think political art has an enormous effect, but in the short term it is satisfying to reinforce people’s disrespect of the villains."
Many of his other projects are large-scale and theatrical, including gigantic clocks of unconventional designs, bonfires and pyrotechnic displays. In 1976, he designed the flying pigs and sheep for rock band Pink Floyd's In The Flesh tour, promoting their Animals album.
His displays are also featured in episodes of The Secret Life of Machines and relate to the machine covered by the programmes. These included a mountain of flaming televisions; flying vacuum cleaners fitted with rocket motors; a carhenge; a ballet of self-propelled portable radios; and a bizarre "pilgrimage" of an internal combustion engine carried, shoulder high, on a bier into the centre of Carhenge. The Pink Floyd inflatable pig was also featured in the vacuum cleaner episode. Other displays featured in the series were more informative, such as a free-standing central heating system and a "human sewing machine." The programs also include his cartoons in voiced and animated form.
In 2013 he created a large, unfolding clock for the San Francisco Exploratorium.
During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic Hunkin was inspired by other creators online to make a new series called The Secret Life of Components that was distributed on YouTube beginning in March 2021. A second installment was distributed beginning 30 March 2022.
Hunkin has published several books in his distinctive cartoon style. His first was a children's book, Mrs Gronkwonk and the Post Office Tower ( ISBN 978-0207955006) in 1973, which he recently made available again at Lulu.com. In 1988 he published Almost Everything There Is To Know, a compilation of his comic strip The Rudiments of Wisdom, first published in The Observer . He is also the author of the book Hunkin's Experiments which describes a variety of science-based pranks, games, and curiosities. Content from both books is freely available online.
A vacuum cleaner, also known simply as a vacuum or a hoover, is a device that causes suction in order to remove dirt from floors, upholstery, draperies, and other surfaces. It is generally electrically driven.
Perpetual motion is the motion of bodies that continues forever in an unperturbed system. A perpetual motion machine is a hypothetical machine that can do work infinitely without an external energy source. This kind of machine is impossible, as it would violate either the first or second law of thermodynamics, or both.
Southwold is a seaside town on the North Sea in Suffolk, England. It lies at the mouth of the River Blyth in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 11 miles (18 km) south of Lowestoft, 29 miles (47 km) north-east of Ipswich and 97 miles (156 km) north-east of London, within the parliamentary constituency of Suffolk Coastal. At the 2021 Census, the population was 950.
A clockmaker is an artisan who makes and/or repairs clocks. Since almost all clocks are now factory-made, most modern clockmakers only repair clocks. Modern clockmakers may be employed by jewellers, antique shops, and places devoted strictly to repairing clocks and watches. Clockmakers must be able to read blueprints and instructions for numerous types of clocks and time pieces that vary from antique clocks to modern time pieces in order to fix and make clocks or watches. The trade requires fine motor coordination as clockmakers must frequently work on devices with small gears and fine machinery.
Joel Veitch is a British web animator, singer-songwriter, and member of the humour website B3ta. Veitch is owner of the web site RatherGood where he showcases many of his animations. Joel has also created the Mr. Stabby animations in collaboration with Jonti Picking, and his early work includes several installments of Tales of the Blode.
The Simpsons is an arcade beat 'em up developed and published by Konami released in 1991. It was the first video game based on the Simpsons franchise to be released in North America. The game allows up to four players to control members of the Simpson family as they fight various enemies to rescue the kidnapped Maggie. It was a commercial success in the United States, where it was one of the top three best-selling arcade video game machines of 1991, The game also features the television shows's voice actors; Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright and Yeardley Smith reprising their respective roles as the Simpsons Family.
Whac-A-Mole is an arcade game. It was created in 1975 by the amusements manufacturer TOGO in Japan, where it was originally known as Mogura Taiji or Mogura Tataki.
The Secret Life of Machines is an educational television series presented by Tim Hunkin and Rex Garrod, in which the two explain the inner workings and history of common household and office machinery. According to Hunkin, the show's creator, the programme was developed from his comic strip The Rudiments of Wisdom, which he researched and drew for the Observer newspaper over a period of 14 years. Three separate groupings of the broadcast were produced and originally shown between 1988 and 1993 on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, with the production subsequently broadcast on The Learning Channel and the Discovery Channel in the U.S.
The Flowbee is an electrically powered vacuum cleaner attachment made for cutting hair. It was developed and filed for patent in 1986 by Rick E. Hunts, a San Diego, California, US carpenter. US patent 4679322 was granted in 1987 and the product marketed since 1988. Hunts initially sold the Flowbees out of his garage before finding success with live demonstrations at a county fair. The product was advertised as being capable of performing "hundreds of precision layered haircuts" in frequently aired late-night television infomercials. By 2000, two million Flowbees had been sold.
Tumblepop is a 1991 platform arcade video game developed by Data East first published in Japan by Namco, then in North America by Leprechaun Inc. and later in Europe by Mitchell Corporation. Starring two ghosthunters, players are tasked with travelling across different countries, capturing enemies and throwing them as bouncing ball, jumping on and off platforms to navigate level obstacles while dodging and defeating monsters in order to save the world.
The Electrolux Trilobite is a robotic vacuum cleaner manufactured by the Swedish corporation Electrolux. It takes its name from the extinct arthropod, which scoured the ocean's floor. The prototype cleaner was first seen on the BBC television programme, Tomorrow's World, in May 1996, when it was demonstrated by presenter Philippa Forrester. It was the world's first commercially available autonomous vacuum cleaner, introduced as a product in 2001, model ZA1. A revision was released as Version 2.0 in 2004, model ZA2.
Southwold Pier is a pier in the coastal town of Southwold in the English county of Suffolk. It is on the northern edge of the town and extends 190 metres (620 ft) into the North Sea.
The pantelegraph was an early form of facsimile machine transmitting over normal telegraph lines developed by Giovanni Caselli, used commercially in the 1860s, that was the first such device to enter practical service. It could transmit handwriting, signatures, or drawings within an area of up to 150 mm × 100 mm.
Clock Cleaners is a 1937 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The cartoon follows Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy working as janitors in a tall clock tower. The film was directed by Ben Sharpsteen and features original music by Paul Smith and Oliver Wallace. The voice cast includes Walt Disney as Mickey, Clarence Nash as Donald, and Pinto Colvig as Goofy. It was the 97th short in the Mickey Mouse film series to be released, and the eighth for that year.
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James Murray Spangler was an American inventor, salesman, and janitor who invented the first commercially successful portable electric vacuum cleaner that revolutionized household carpet cleaning. His device was not the first vacuum cleaner, but it was the first that was practical for home use. It was the first to use both a cloth filter bag and cleaning attachments. Spangler improved this basic model and received a patent for it in 1908. He formed the Electric Suction Sweeper Company to manufacture his device. William H. Hoover was so impressed with the vacuum cleaner that he bought into Spangler's business and patents.
The Exploratorium is a museum of science, technology, and arts in San Francisco, California. Founded by physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer in 1969, the museum was originally located in the Palace of Fine Arts 1969 and was relocated in 2013 to Piers 15 and 17 on San Francisco's waterfront.
Pier Giacomo Castiglioni was an Italian architect and designer.
Novelty Automation is an amusement arcade of satirical game machines in Holborn, London. The machines are constructed by cartoonist and engineer Tim Hunkin, often by hand, and the arcade includes an expressive photo booth, an interactive divorce and a "small hadron collider". The arcade also includes three of Hunkin's machines which were once on display at Cabaret Mechanical Theatre's Covent Garden exhibition: The Frisker, Test Your Nerve and The Chiropodist.