GIZMO (Dec, 1958)

Here is the June 1956 article and the November 1956 article (with the plans)

“GIZMO.” a mechanical man. can walk, answer “yes” and “no” and grasp and release objects. Built by Wade Barrineau III, Georgetown. S. C.

  1. DHM says: January 14, 20084:50 am

    He’s still making stuff:…

  2. Firebrand38 says: January 14, 20082:48 pm

    I sent him a link to this page so hopefully he’ll contribute something.

  3. John Anderson says: March 5, 20088:27 am

    Hope this will find someone that can help me. i built this robot when I was in 8th grade. Im trying to find the article. Ive had several people check there DEC 1958 Issue of mechanix Illistrated and the article is not in there. Just a small picture of the robot. does anyone know where this article is. I cant seam to find out how to contact Mr Barrineau. I think he is still living. This was such a great project Im wanting to do it again with the boy scout troop here.

    Any help at all
    Thanks John Anderson

  4. Charlie says: March 5, 20088:39 am

    I don’t think there is an article. Just this little blurb.

  5. John Anderson says: March 7, 20087:09 am

    I see Firebrand38 said he sent Him Wade Barrineau a link to this. how did he do that.

  6. Firebrand38 says: March 7, 20089:04 am

    All I was able to do is find his profile on amazon (follow the link in my first posting) and sent him a message.

  7. Firebrand38 says: March 7, 20089:15 am

    I take that back. I’m e-mailing his e-mail address to Charlie as we speak.

  8. John Anderson says: March 12, 20085:07 am

    You were right mr Barrineau is a sharp cookie. Talked to him. He said he didnt think the article came out in mechanix Illustrated. he thinks it was in Boys Life, the magazine for scouts. Ive done many searchs and still nothing. i know for a fact that there is an article because i built the robot in about 1957 from those plans. Still Looking

  9. John Anderson says: June 24, 200911:46 am

    Still havent come up with much. Im sure I built it and im sure I had plans out of a magazine. Back then we got three magazines, Boys Life, Popular Mechanics and popular science. Can figure why we cant track it down Oh Well.. John

  10. Andrew L. Ayers says: April 17, 201012:45 am

    Somewhere I have a copy of the “Gizmo” robot plans that I sent away for in Boys Life magazine when I was younger (in the 1980’s) when they published plans for “Gizmo 2”; I may be able to dig both up and put them on my website somewhere, if I can find them…

  11. Andrew L. Ayers says: April 17, 20101:29 am

    Ok – here is what I found and put up on my website:


    It isn’t the same as this robot, but I think it is the likely one mentioned by John Anderson; I am still looking for my copy of the article on “Gismo 2″…

  12. Jeff Rice says: April 19, 201112:31 pm

    I’m posting here a set of notes I made for myself, which expands on the info above:

    Boy’s Life Gismo robot series (back issues available on Google Books, as of 4/18/2011)

    1. GISMO AND I – Sherwood Fuehrer, June 56 p. 18 (original Gismo – not a construction article, but Fuehrer’s tale of homebuilt robot Gismo)

    Great collection of Fuehrer Gismo pics at…

    includes reprint of Boy’s Life article (plain text only)
    includes photo that appeared for many years (in the 60’s editions???) in the World Book Encyclopedia article on Robot

    2. “GISMO” the Great – Glenn Wagner, Nov. 56, p. 74 (build-it-yourself plans, similar to Fuehrer design)

    3. Build Your Own Robot – Tom Carroll, Feb. 87, p. 18 (GISMO2BL)

    4. Gismo is back! – Mark Haverstock, Sept. 90, p. 24 (GISMO 3)

    5. Gismo is back – Mark Haverstock, April 96, p. 26 – reprint (& slight update??) of Sept. 90 article

    6. Build a ‘Bot! – Mark Haverstock (GISMO 4, “BASIC” & “EXTREME” variations), not published in magazine.
    http://media.scouting.o… and…

    7. Build a recycled robot – Cy Tymony, April 2011 (GISMO 5)

    (in general, the series is progressively dumbed down as it goes, until reaching a low of superficiality & inanity in the latest. So boys today are too stupid & clumsy to use tools, and have the attention span of a goldfish???)

    Also, in Mar. 86 issue, p. 58, an article, “We showed you how,” referring to the Nov. 56 GISMO as one of the most famous construction projects ever in Boy’s Life, “still knocked together by craftsmen discovering them for the first time.” Includes greatly reduced reproduction of original article, in its entirety.

  13. Ankhtraveler says: March 17, 20122:46 pm

    At our gallery here in West Palm Beach we actually have the original Gizmo as built by Sherwood Fuehrer. He built it in 1954 and an article about him and Gizmo appeared in Boy’s Life in June 1956. It’s in good shape though we have never tried to get it to operate.

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