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Gill Simo of Glastonbury, England

(Preface by Scott Ellis)

Gill's ideas are based on the operation of a Jacob's Ladder, the old cascading folk toy you are probably familiar with. Here are some resources for understanding, building, and buying a Jacob's Ladder.


(Interesting aside:
Here is the report from NASA about this toy's behavior in space:
"When the blocks were pushed together, they rebounded and moved apart. Then they came back together like an accordion. When the blocks were pulled apart, one block would either stick up or down. On the next pull, another block might stick out from the row of blocks.")

Online purchasing:
Kazoo Toys
Family Tree Toys

And now for Gill Simo's ideas. They involve a Jacob's Ladder device in the form of a circle. His ideas are based on certain enigmatic drawings in Bessler's published works, in particular this one:

The engraving comes from Bessler's Apologia, and is accompanied by the text:

".. and do you still not understand?"

And these drawings, featured on Bessler's Toy Page. They seem to clearly show a Jacob's Ladder, from the front and from the side, at the moment when the cascading principle is about to "unfold."

We should note that other toys are also depicted on Bessler's Toy Page, including a top that flips itself over when spun and a pair of stork's bill (scissor-jack) pliers.

Explanation and Drawings by Gill Simo







Gill Simo (4/2002)

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