Mourning Francisco González Gragera, creator of Capricho de Cotrina

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Tom Every, Forevertron

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  • Location:

    North Freedom, Wisconsin, USA (Map)

  • Status:

    Extant

  • Artist:
  • Built:

    begun 1983

  • Materials:

    metal, recycled materials

Visiting Information

Open to the public. In addition, two of his birds are in the permanent collection of the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and one of his twenty-foot-tall Cello Birds, fashioned from tubs once used by the Veteran’s Administration to heal burn victims, greet visitors to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

About the Artist/Site

Tom Every spent a career demolishing old buildings, but hated destroying the beautifully-engineered artifacts of 19th and early 20th century technology. So he started stockpiling them instead. When he retired in 1983, he began filling a multi-acre site near Baraboo, Wisconsin with towering assemblages of those artifacts. Dubbed “The World’s Largest Scrap Metal Sculpture” by the Guinness Book of Records, its centerpiece is the Forevertron – three hundred tons of recycled industrial salvage measuring over 120 feet long and 50 feet tall. Among its components are a decontamination chamber from the Apollo moon missions and two of Thomas Edison’s original dipolar dynamos.

The Forevertron appears to reference such widely diverse sources as Buck Rogers and Dr. Seuss. It also comes with a tongue-in-cheek back-story. Every claims to have re-created a device built by a 19th century British scientist named Dr. Evermor, designed to transport him, via electromagnetic energy, to heaven. For many years, Every greeted visitors in the guise of Dr. Evermore, often wearing a pith helmet.

The site includes salvage assemblages resembling giant bugs, towering twenty-foot-tall birds, small alien creatures, fantastic canons, and dozens of graceful and humorous birds – all six-foot-tall and incorporating musical instruments – that Every calls “The Bird Band.” His assemblages are whimsical, graceful and, a particular point of pride for him, they are so well-balanced that, if pushed, they spring back to an upright position.

The site is a virtual museum of disappearing technology, lovingly given new life. The florid egg once used to advertise a hamburger joint now appears as a space capsule, an excavator now an eagle’s beak. Every prides himself on transforming these materials into something new without altering their original shape or form. Two of his birds are in the permanent collection of the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and one of his twenty-foot-tall Cello Birds, fashioned from tubs once used by the Veteran’s Administration to heal burn victims, greet visitors to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

~Mark Karpel



SPACES Archives Holdings

1 envelope: images

Map and site information

Not Exact Address
North Freedom, Wisconsin, United States
Latitude/Longitude: 43.459541 / -89.868459

Visiting Information

Open to the public. In addition, two of his birds are in the permanent collection of the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and one of his twenty-foot-tall Cello Birds, fashioned from tubs once used by the Veteran’s Administration to heal burn victims, greet visitors to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

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