Unrepeatable Emett Offer

Today a 1952 cartoon from Rowland Emett. Little known nowadays, Frederick Rowland Emett OBE was an English cartoonist and constructor of whimsical kinetic sculpture, some of which survives in use today.  He was a British institution, his high point being the ‘Far Tottering and Oyster Creek Branch Railway’, a real railway built for the 1951 Festival of Britain and based on his cartoons of a odd, whimsical rail system. Often coupled with W Heath Robinson, or for Americans, Rube Goldberg, each of the three certainly had their own distinct style.


Here is one of Emett’s drawings for the magazine Punch, entitled “I should snap it up, gentlemen! There are two other services interested…” And all three services, army, navy and air force, should be interested with turrets, tracks and masts fitted as well as wings on the inventor-pilot’s monstrosity.

One thing that does make the carton work is the much more ‘straight’ seeming aircraft in the background, though few jets get a chimney sweep’s brush cleaning out the nozzle. Emett’s signature, bottom left is a small extra delight.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

Online as a cartoon for sale here.

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