10,000 ways that won’t work

Prototype-making workshop with Chrissie Macdonald.

A prototype is a first or preliminary version of a device, machine or product from which other forms are developed.

Thomas Edison, co-inventor of the first commercially viable light bulb, is said to have developed thousands of prototypes in the process: ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’

Sam Born made history in 1916 with his machine that mechanically inserts sticks into lollipops, George de Mestral made it possible for me to put on my own trainers as a child when he invented Velcro in 1948, and my five-year-old nephew has big plans for the cuddling machine that will never let you go.

I challenge all budding inventors to create a paper prototype for an invention that doesn’t yet exist. What machine or device would improve the world, enhance your life, solve a problem or grant a wish?

Come along to Paper Cut: The Exhibition at The Proud Archivist this Sunday 14th Sept between 10am-4pm to accept my challenge, pick up some paper and see where it takes you!
Sign up for the workshop here.

Above: Boy Detection Device for enhancing life at Secondary School (for Girls).
Photography by Jess Bonham.