Fantastic Forgeries

Fantastic Forgeries Exhibit Overview

What happens when we follow our imagination into the realm to fraud? Fantastic Forgeries presents two exhibits that show the creative potential of hoax products and false histories. Henry’s Hoke’s Lost Tools are gimmicks and physical puns that invite critical thinking, while Boilerplate tracks the last few centuries of history, with one robotic character added to the story. In this exhibit, visitors can participate in a creative project humanity has engaged since the beginning: making stuff up.

Fantastic Forgeries Exhibit Highlights


Boilerplate is a robot invented for the purpose of “preventing the deaths of men in the conflicts of nations”, by Archibald Campion. He and Boilerplate traveled the world together to aid in battle beside famous leaders and give a hand in the moments that shaped our present time. The made-up story of Campion and his robot was created by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett in their book Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel. View the gallery wall of Boilerplate photos and read the stories that will spark your creativity and critical thinking.

Inventing an Inventor

You might actually get lost in this giant book, “Henry Hokes Guide to the Misguided”. Read the story of Hoke and how his lost tools came to be discovered. Henry Hoke himself is another forgery in this exhibit created by author Mark Thomson. The story of Henry Hoke and his lost tools are a witty conception of the lifetime of an unknown genius and his humorous inventions.

Lost Tools

The Lost Tools are jokes invented by imaginary innovator Henry Hoke. Enjoy ironic inventions and ridiculous ideas on the exhibit shelves such as the “Pointless Nails” or the “Smoke Hammer”. Creativity is not limited to logic, some real life scientists and engineers have purposely created inventions that fail as an exercise that opens their abilities to think outside the box. This silly activity can ease the pressure of solving a problem and allow more room for creativity, thus making space for a bright idea.

The Leonardo da Vinci Connection

Many of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions were never constructed; his innovative ideas were limited to the available technology of the renaissance. Still the need to create machines that were thought beyond possible captivated da Vinci and he continued to fuel his innovativeness through those ideas. Among some of the ideas that were ahead of his time were flying machines, an armored car and even his own robotic knight.

This exhibit is included with admission
This exhibit is free for members