I know a lot of creative and talented people in Austin, Texas. My friend and long time Toyota mechanic and inventor, Mark Larkin, is one of them. I spend hour upon hour milling wood, sanding or brushing finish which allows my mind to wander to inventions and labor saving devices for my shop. I suspect Mark’s active mind is engineering solutions to his many inventions as he sets the valves on a Corolla for the ten thousandth time.
Mark recently called me to see his latest creation before he gave it to his son. When I went to his shop to check it out I was flabbergasted. He made a human powered beer can crusher. His son wanted a fun way to recycle aluminum cans. This invention is all stainless steel with bronze bushings and it fits on a 16 gallon steel drum.
I tried to explain it to my friends and realized that my words couldn’t do it justice. So I asked Mark if he would bring it to my shop so we could document it and share it with the world. It wasn’t easy getting it back from his son Jesse, as it was a hit with his college buddies.
During our video taping and photo session I helped Mark come up with the name, the Mark-Co 3000 Can Crusher. I couldn’t help but compare his work to that of something Rube Goldberg might have come up with.
Sure I could crush a can by stomping on it with my size twelve Red Wing boot, but the joy of the creative process is to make an elegant solution to a simple problem. It’s the creative journey that is common to all of us craftsmen.
This isn’t just a crazy contraption, it’s an elegant and simple invention that does exactly what it’s suppose to do, make crushing beer cans fun and easy!
The Mark-Co 3000 shows me that new inventions and creative thinking is alive and well, at least in Austin, Texas. When someone tries to tell you that everything has been invented, this proves that’s not true. I hope to show you many more of inventor Mark Larkin’s creations in future posts and videos.
Attention Austinites: Mark Larkin has been my mechanic for over 15 years and he’s awesome. If you live in Austin, Texas and you drive Toyotas, I highly recommend using “An Honest Mechanic”. He’s located in South Austin, off Congress Avenue at 121 Pickle Road.