The Border Watch : January 11th 2018
NEWS TIPS firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS 17 Clockwork car winds up in Millicent Exhibition showcases unrecognised inventor’s revolutionary designs THE mechanical achievements of a legendary man touted as the Australian Einstein is currently on display at the Millicent Visitor Information Centre. The Lost Tools of Henry Hoke Exhibition showcases the amazing inventions of the nation’s greatest unrecognised inventor, Henry Hoke. The mythical engineer’s revolutionary clockwork car and giant wind-up key are the centrepiece of the travelling exhibition, which will be open to the public until early next month. Based on the few remaining original blueprints, newspaper photographs and oral histories, the vehicle is a reconstruction of the revolutionary design. Hoke’s clockwork vehicle, known locally as the wind-up, is understood to have been built progressively from the mid-1930s to sometime in the 1950s. Exact data, including the reputed very high speeds the vehicle could achieve, remains elusive. Institute of Backyard Studies advanced research director Mark Thomson said the original was believed to have been destroyed in an accident during a race on a salt lake. The giant wind-up key, which was recovered after the crash by a Hoke’s Bluff local as a souvenir, is the only remaining genuine artefact from the motoring invention. “Legend has it the car was able to reach incredible speeds,” he said. CLASSIC WIND-UP: Institute of Backyard Studies advanced research director Mark Thomson takes Henry Hoke’s revolutionary clockwork car for a test drive before it is put on display at the Millicent Visitor Information Centre. “The original plans are under- stood to be locked in a vault somewhere in America. “We managed to reproduce the vehicle with some of the blueprints we found.” The enigmatic Hoke was raised by his pharmacist father and a highly skilled blacksmith mother. “Beryl Hoke was head of the Ladies Blacksmithing League,” he said. “We understand it was a cross between the CWA and the Hells Angels. “They were women you did not want to mess with.” As a child, Hoke spent his spare time between the Mechanics Institute Library and at an allpurpose car and farm machinery repair business. Between the two institutions, he acquired an amazing range of skills and insights that were invaluable in developing clockwork propulsion later in life as well as his greatest invention, the Random Excuse Generator. Hoke laboured in an isolated workshop on a dusty plain, with its exact location unknown PARENT 2017 EDITION 721362 The Border Watch, Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 17 to researchers. “We do not know where Hoke’s Bluff is exactly,” he said. “We have heard rumours it is somewhere in the Mallee, but it may very well be in the South East.” Hoke’s other prescient inventions include Willing’s Suspension of Disbelief, dehydrated water pills and refined bulldust. RENT talk Available now at The Border Watch, The South Eastern Times, Penola Pennant and selected local businesses.
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