After wandering through the gift store we finally made it back to the car to head to Spring Green for lunch at The Shed. It was here that we learned that this part of Wisconsin really only has cell phone coverage through US Cellular. They had Wi-Fi so we all took a moment to enjoy connection to the outside world.
Food was very good. Town is adorable. We met an older couple who had also just toured House on the Rock. They were from Mississippi, near Memphis. We bonded over Tennessee and dessert choices. Then we headed out to Forevertron. I am using info from Roadside America for this post. It is just too bizarre to put in my own words. It is, in fact, the world’s largest metal sculpture built by one person.
In a previous life, Dr. Evermor was Tom Every, a successful industrial wrecker and businessman. But Tom was unsatisfied. The transformers and generators and gauges and compressors that he scrapped seemed too well-designed to be destroyed. So Tom began stockpiling them, and then building things out of them — strange retro-sci-fi contraptions that were Steampunk long before the word was even invented. In the 1970s he became partners and friends with Alex Jordan, whose nearby House on the Rock became a showcase for Tom’s mechanical fantasies.Then Tom and Alex had a falling-out. The partnership ended. Tom became depressed. And that’s when Tom became Dr. Evermor, and began building the Forevertron.
The Forevertron, according to Dr. Evermor, is based on a machine that supposedly launched one of his English ancestors skyward in the 1890s. It’s a commanding mass of industrial salvage, weighing 320 tons, over 50 feet tall and 160 feet long. A plaque on the Forevertron’s entrance gate calls it the “World’s Largest Scrap Metal Sculpture,” a title conferred on it by Guinness World Records.
Dr. Evermor has shown great respect for Tom Every’s artful junk. Nearly all of the Forevertron’s castoff parts are unmodified; they’re just welded and bolted together in a new way. There are pieces of breweries, power plants, steel mills, snowmobile factories, cargo ships, and railroad engines. A pair of Thomas Edison’s bipolar electrical dynamos are in there, somewhere, as are the autoclaves that sterilized the Apollo 11 moon rocks.
According to Dr. Evermor, the job of the Forevertron is to generate a “magnetic lightning force beam” that will catapult him to the celestial sphere. After “de-watering” himself in the machine’s Gravitron (a repurposed full-body fluoroscope), Dr. Evermor will fire up the Forevertron’s motors and thrusters, climb into its streamlined crystalline egg capsule, and blast off for a rendezvous with God.
Why? Nothing personal, but Dr. Evermor just really wants to get away from the rest of us. When the time is right—only Dr. Evermor will know when—the famous, enigmatic scientist will climb the winding staircase and enter its egg-shaped travel chamber, power up the dynamos and flip on the thrusters, and away he’ll fly on a “highball to heaven,” propelled by an electromagnetic lightning force beam. Or so the story goes.