The illustrations, shown below are all from a book I found while doing the spring cleaning! I decided to google Heath Robinson, and see what I discovered!
Finsbury Park, north London. His father and brothers (Thomas Heath Robinson and Charles Robinson) all worked as illustrators.
His early career involved illustrating books - among others: Hans Christian Andersen's Danish Fairy Tales and Legends (1897); The Arabian Nights, (1899); Tales From Shakespeare (1902), and Twelfth Night (1908), Andersen's Fairy Tales (1913), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1914), Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies (1915), and Walter de la Mare's Peacock Pie (1916).
In the course of his work Heath Robinson also wrote and illustrated three children's books, The Adventures of Uncle Lubin (1902), Bill the Minder (1912) and Peter Quip in Search of a Friend (1922). Uncle Lubin is regarded as the start of his career in the depiction of unlikely machines. During the First World War he drew large numbers of cartoons, depicting ever-more-unlikely secret weapons being used by the combatants".
Robinson was an English cartoonist and illustrator, best-known for the complicated and ingenious inventions he portrayed, which has resulted in his name entering the language. Something I didn't know, but find now very interesting.
If a machine or system is Heath Robinson, it is very complicated in a way that is funny, but not practical or effective
Usage notes: Heath Robinson was an English artist who drew strange, complicated machines that could do simple jobs.I once got a Heath Robinson device for slicing onions. I used it once, but it took me a long time to clean the thing.
Similar expressions worldwide see: