The original machine had a base plate of prefabulated aluminite, surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two main spurving bearings were in a direct line with the pentametric fan. The latter consisted simply of six hydrocoptic marzlevanes, so fitted to the ambifacient lunar waneshaft that side fumbling was effectively prevented. The main winding was of the normal lotus-o-delta type placed in panendermic semi-bovoid slots in the stator, every seventh conductor being connected by a nonreversible tremie pipe to the differential girdlespring on the “up” end of the grammeters.
That is one of the many descriptions of the famous turboencabulator, a machine devised by Chrysler, General Electric, and Rockwell Automation, among others in the 1940s through 1960s. Many saw it as a technical marvel that could change babies diapers and revolutionize motor design. First publicized by the British Institution of Electrical Engineers Students’ Quarterly Journal in 1944, this machine struck a chord with many readers.
If you’re still scratching your head trying to figure it out, the turboencabulator was an inside joke between engineers in the 1940s that used technobabble to confuse those not in on the foolery – and it was a completely made up machine. The video below will help you understand a little bit more…
The gag slowly gained traction in the mid-1940s and in 1946, a US publishers started picking up on the fanfare of the amazing machine. Time magazine published an article in May of 1946 titled, “An adjunct to the turbo-encabulator, employed whenever a barescent skor motion is required,” which only widened the scope of this massive technical joke.
Readers of Time magazine sent in letters to the editor asking many questions about the potential uses and expressing excitement about the machine. Some readers said “it sounds like a new motor,” and that it sounds like a “wonderful machine for changing baby’s diapers.” Time also received many complaints about using too much technical jargon in the article for the layman to understand. But really, everyone knows what an ambifacient lunar waneshaft is, so those comments fell on deaf ears.
Image Source: Wikipedia
In 1962, General Electric got in on the joke and created a datasheet for the turboencabulator in their technical handbook. Even at this time, many in the general public weren’t in on the joke and assumed the turboencabulator to be some new astounding technology.
Bud Haggart, a famous actor who commonly made technical films for companies, created a video explaining the turboencabulator as a new improvement on GMC trucks in 1977.
The turboencabulator was one of the most prolific feats of engineering in the last century and its technical prowess continues to live on, even in modern times. In 1997, Rockwell Automation released a version of the device. In 2016, PATH, a company focusing on using Innovation to better the world, released their new micro encabulator.
These iterations on the famous design continue to push forward the bounds of just what is possible using panendermic semi-bovoid stators. It’s incredible just how far technology has come.