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Model of “Twister” Mechanism


A motorized assembly, made largely of aluminum, is mounted on a circular plywood base that is painted black. At the centre of the mechanism is a red and black hose. Two lengths of ball chain drive four gears mounted on the mechanism.

Two labels, one larger, one smaller, are fixed to opposite sides of the wooden base.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name: Twister mechanism

Primary Materials: Wood, Aluminum alloy.


A large cardboard label fixed to the artifact’s wooden base reads as follows:

“This is the TWISTER A version by the University of Toronto of C. L. Strong’s Article in Sci. Am. Dec. 75// Also see “Spinors” etc. in Misner, Thorton, & Wheeler’s Book Called “Gravitation”.// Can you devise a way to supply a continuously-rotating platform, with say compressed air, without any slip-joints in the hose?// John C. Chappell // 17 June 1978.”

A second label, a piece of masking tape fixed to the opposite side of the base, reads “TWISTOR”.

Dimensions (cm): Height = 51, Width = 32, Length = 32.


This is a functional model of a mechanism meant to connect a contiguous hose or cable to a rotating platform.


Very Good: The model has slight scratches and blemishes. The large cardboard label on the base has several stains.

Associated Instruments:


University of Toronto Department of Physics

Date of Manufacture: 1978


This artifact was among a collection acquired from the Department of Physics teaching laboratory on June 6, 2016.

Additional Information and References:

C. L. Strong. “The Amateur Scientist: Diverse topics, starting with how to supply electric power to something that is turning.” <i>Scientific American</i> 233, 6 (Dec 1975), 120-126.

Historical Notes:


  • Donated to UTSIC