6 October 2012

The Forevertron of Dr Evermor

Wisconsin may seem an unlikely place for a Victorian inventor from England to take up home, but that is exactly what Dr Evermor did.  You can still see a myriad of his inventions on display in the small town of Sumpter.  By far the largest of his creations, the Forevertron, takes pride of place at the center of this amazing collection. Dr Evermor used his colossal contrivance and disappeared before the turn of the new, twentieth century.

Hold, on. Hold on. Yes, you may have already cottoned on to the fact that the contraptions you can see here may not be altogether Victorian in terms of their age.  You might even have a sneaking feeling that they might not do what they are supposed to. Yet that does not stop Dr Evermor’s Forevertron being the largest scrap metal structure on the planet. You might call it outsider art or pre-steamed steampunk or just, simply, genius.

Despite the site’s status as fictional art, there is more than a little reality bound up in this extraordinary piece of fiction.  Although the work was begun in the 1980s by Wisconsin native Tom Every who spent his working life as a demolition man. During his career he collected my artefacts, including two Edison dynamos from the nineteenth century with a plan to incorporate them in to his artistic dream.

The period look and feel is further added to the Forevertron by the inclusion of mechanisms and machineries from early power plants, not to mention scrap collected from a neighboring ammunition plant.  Somewhere among the mass of old technology is even the decontamination chamber from Apollo 11.

What does the Forevertron do? The fictitious Dr Evermor designed it to blast himself off in to outer space on a beam of sheer lightning.  He would then be able to explore the heavens from this vantage point.  It was to have been the highlight of the era.

Evermor even designed and built a pagoda on a single stilt to shelter Queen Victoria and Prince Albert while they watched the launch of the unconventional inventor.

There is also a giant telescope in situ, so that the sceptical intelligentsia of the day could watch as Evermor propelled himself skyward.  Around the Forevertron are peripheral apparatus, many connected with the Vernian at the heart of the installation.

There is also an army of small robots, no doubt designed to help Dr Evermor with the gargantuan task of constructing the Forevertron.  After all, every Willy Wonka needs his own Oompa Loompas.

A bestiary of iron creatures complement the robots.  Evermor foresaw them as a kind of orchestra which would play him off as he descended forever heavenwards.

Although the Forevertron is enormous, this belies the detail that goes in to every square inch of this remarkable sculpture.

Each piece has a story behind it, working towards the single myth of Dr Evermor.

The Forevertron’s vital statistics are quite something. All told it weighs 320 tons.  It stands over 50 feet in height and almost three times that in length.  You could suspect, almost willingly, that its stated purpose does indeed denote its true capacity. Dr Evermor may not be here today (but he could be tomorrow).  After all, what goes up must come down.

First Image Credit Flickr User  Madolan