Brabantsedag: Eureka! An explosion of inventiveness and creativity

The Mundaneum Image source: Brabantse Dag

The tents have been up for a while, the builders have been working away, the float groups for the Eureka! theme parade are finalising the presentation of their chosen themes. The big occasion, the 64th Brabantsedag, is nearly there. These are eight of the sixteen competing floats and their chosen angles. The inventors are Belgian or Dutch; all are Brabanders. All sixteen floats have sprouted from the heads and hands of the Heeze building groups. 

‘Vriendenkring De Laarstukken’ are working on The Mundaneum, showing how Paul Otlet’s approach to structuring his index cards led to both innovation and downfall. The cards start out as a valuable tool for efficiency, but the initially orderly system gradually succumbs to chaos as the information system is overtaken by time.

Health care

Several inventors worked to improve human health. ‘Bouwerij Skôn’ chose ophthalmologist Franciscus Donders, who coined the terms ‘nearsighted’ and ‘farsighted’. His contraption to measure sight defects is visualised in the float Seeing Clearly Now. Another invention related to our physical health is the BMI index, a measuring system developed by Belgian mathematician Adolphe Quetelet. ‘Bloed Zweet & Tranen’ show how mathematical data might cause mental health problems with From Value to Madness.

Trapped by the tape measure

Dr. Antonius Mathijsen – Uncle Plaster!- invented the life-saving plaster cast technique in the mid-19th century. ‘De Lambrekvrienden’ enact how Budel residents are busy with the final preparations for a statue in his honour. As the unveiling ceremony approaches, greater effort may not mean greater success. Expect to see a great deal of plaster.

Health care requires knowledge about the human body. Andreas Vesalius documented the human body in his seven books, detailing its skeletal structure, muscles, blood vessels, and organs. Now, ‘Vriendenkring Snoeyen’ aims to write the eighth book.

Qui Bono? Who Benefits?

The two sides to the coin of invention become clear in ‘Vriendenkring Haisjô’s take on the benefits of Asphalt Concrete, developed by Belgian chemist Edward J. de Smedt.  Asphalt has literally formed the foundation for development, innovation, and prosperity. However, it also divides, threatens, and destroys. Eureka? We Flatten the World is the name of the float.

The two sides of the coin are also present in the case of Philips inventor Johan van Leer.  His MD element, a component in turntables that ensures quality and longetivity for vinyl records was only released after his departure from the firm, and he received next to no recognition for his groundbreaking creation. ‘Het Zij Zo’ built the float, with the clever but unstranslatable pun Geen Gehoor as their title.

Up in Flames

Other inventors derive huge financial gain from their inventions. ‘Vriendenkring Hopeloos’ show the industrial scale of the automated match and matchbox production made possible by the machine invented by Charles Loijens. By 1893, his factory employed nearly 200 workers, producing 50,000 matchboxes daily. The German manufacturer who bought the invention made Loijens rich.

The ‘Hopeloos’ builders are constructing a mobile factory made entirely of matches. The process of filling matchboxes is translated into a rhythmic and creative game within a mathematical structure, consuming the trees and putting Lucifer in a box.

An introduction to the remaining eight floats will appear on EindhovenNews on Saturday.

Win free tickets for the event.

When: 27 August

Where: Heeze

Why: Simply, you mustn’t miss it

To buy tickets 

  • Children up to 12 years free
  • Tickets  € 11.50 (online)
  • Tickets at the box office on the day: €12.50
  • Grandstand seats from €15 each (a separate entrance ticket is required).

Source: Brabantse Dag

Written for EindhovenNews by Greta


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