John Muir's clockwork desk

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6 Responses to “John Muir's clockwork desk”

  1. Anonymous says:

    So basically, it’s a torture device…

  2. argelesplage says:

    If anyone in the Madison, WI area wants to get a close up look, this desk sits in a glass case just inside the entrance to the State Historical Society across the street from the UW student union.

  3. argelesplage says:

    Good question, Eustace. Muir whittled and sawed his early inventions out of scraps in the dead of night when his family was asleep. He grew up in a frugal farming family that permitted no waste of time or materials. The “scholar’s chair” pictured above is just one of many fascinating things he designed and built.

    The last couple of chapters Muir’s “My Boyhood and Youth” deal with his inventions and what inspired them. It’s good reading, but it makes you feel guilty about sitting at your desktop.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for that info argelsplage. I go past there all the time. I’ll check it out.

    If I remember correctly, Thomas Jefferson designed himself a revolving stand that kept multiple books open. But Muir’s bed and study contraption are like Wallace and Gromit!

  5. ecloud says:

    Sounds like the creator of Wallace & Gromit may have gotten some ideas from this guy.

  6. eustace says:

    What a wonderful contraption! But how could it possibly save as much time as it cost to design and build?

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