Mechanical engineer Peter Browne and airline pilot Mervyn Huggett, both retired and equipped with skills, a sense of humor, and scads of time, took on the Breakfast Machine project. Their purpose, so they say, was to prepare breakfast for their wives on Sunday mornings. (It sounds like they wanted to give their wives a break from weekdays when their wives made breakfast.) So, with Browne’s mechanical skills and Huggett’s knowledge of electronics, they spent approximately 1,000 hours constructing a contraption that would make Rube Goldberg proud.
The machine does it all. First, it delivers the morning paper onto a tray table, rolled up so the sections and pages don’t flutter and separate. Next, water is boiled, poured into a cup, and a tag bag or coffee bag is dipped until the brew is perfect. The cup is then put on the table. Two simultaneous processes soft boil an egg and toast a slice of bread by moving it back and forth over glowing toasting rods. The egg is delivered in an egg cup and the toast on a plate. The last step in the breakfast service is to pull the small table cloth sideways to clear the table.
It’s fun to watch the video and listen to the commentary as the Sunday Morning Breakfast Machine does its thing. One addition we’d like to see is spreading the tablecloth first. We also wonder how the dishes survive being dumped off the side of the table.