The Book of Modern Marvels

The Book of Modern Marvels

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. 1917 edition.: ...the days of the steam engine and of the factory, the inventive ingenuity of a mechanic, who was bubbling over with ideas, expressed itself in the making of huge automatons--artificial human beings crammed with clockwork and capable of executing with astonishing fidelity acts which seemed to require the control of a brain. There were automatons that danced minuets, automatons that could write stilted phrases in praise of a reigning monarch far more clearly and correctly than most courtiers, and automa tons that even went through the motions of playing a game of chess. They were mechanical curiosities--nothing more. But it must not be supposed that the art of making mechanical dummies is dead. Indeed, it flourishes more richly than ever, simply because it has been put upon a commercial basis. Only once in his lifetime would an eighteenth century mechanic produce a dancing or letter-writing figure; it was years before he completed his labors. But with the aid of modern factory machinery, automatons are turned out as easily and as rapidly as automobiles. Who wants them? The Coney Islands and the Earl Courts of the world. Somehow the huge, automatic musical orchestras, to the accompaniment of which one eats popcorn and marvels at the tattooed man, are far too tame for the sensationloving showmen who enliven popular seaside resorts. The orchestrions lack the human touch. And so, the machinery that grinds out the latest dance or the Painting the faces musicians in T latest song must be adorned with mechanical figures--figures clothed with garish care and very lifelike in their stiff, mechanical way. They beat drums, dance, and juggle; indeed they behave very intelligently and correctly. Triboulet of Paris, is the man who invents many of the more ingenious dummies. That he is exceptionally ingenious follows from the very nature of his creations. He must be something of an artist, too; for he devises not only the machinery by means of which...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 152 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 8mm | 286g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English, Welsh
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236621050
  • 9781236621054