Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Behind-the-scenes tour of the mechanical wonders at the Morris Museum

The Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey has announced a special "Behind Locked Doors" event. The event will feature a special staff-guided tour and demonstration of instruments and automata from the famous Guinness Collection. Visitors will see mechanical marvels that are not normally heard or exhibited in the galleries. This behind the scenes tour includes a visit to the museum's incredible Viewable Storage facility where a large portion of the collection is stored.

Guinness Spotlight: Behind Locked Doors

Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ  07960


Thursday, November 20, 3:00-4:30pm
Thursday, November 20, 6:30-8:00pm

Tickets: Members - $7 / Non-Members - $9
Attendance will be limited. Call 973.971.3706 to reserve a seat.

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pathfinders Leonardo DaVinci Aerial Screw Wood Kit

Check out this great kit from our friends at Pathfinders! This time they've designed a wooden kit that allows you to make a replica of Leonardo da Vinci design for the world's first helicopter.

From the kit description:
One of Leonardo's most iconic images, the Aerial Screw (also known as the Helicopter) illustrates the ingenuity of da Vinci, and indicates his obsession with flying. While this idea may never have got off the ground, for some basic technical reasons, it gave us an insight into the different ways in which Leonardo considered the challenge of human powered flying, and defines him as an inventor well ahead of his time. While it is often referred to as a helicopter, the premise of the lift to make it rise is more like archimedes screw than the rotors of a helicopter.

The kit comes complete with all pieces pre-cut and ready to assemble. Even the glue included!  Just follow the easy-to-understand instructions, and in a few hours you will have a completed kit. Mind you, it doesn't fly, but it's wonderful fun to turn the crank, watch the pinwheel gears and see the helical screw spin. A great project for young and old.

Here is where you can order the Pathfinders Leonardo DaVinci Aerial Screw Wood Kit

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lacy Scott & Knight Toys & Models sale to be held on November 15, 2014

The Lacy Scott & Knight Auction Centre will be featuring a sale of amazing antique toys this month.

Shown here is one of the many lots included in the sale, a tin plate automaton featuring a clown an dancer.

From the description of Lot 3174:

Gunthermann, tinplate and clockwork musical automata entitled 'Clown and Dancer', comprising of tinplate clown seated upon drum whilst playing the clarinet, when in motion he nods his head back and forth whilst the opposing female dancer twirls, single fixed key mechanism in working order with 'plink-plunk' type music, later clothing has been applied to both figures

Despite its condition, the piece is estimated to bring from $900 to $1200. Toys were often well-used and many examples were eventually destroyed and discarded. They are therefore often quite rare.

To learn more about tin toys check out Pressland's Great Book of Tin Toys which features nearly 700 color illustrations of the toys that dominated the industry for a century.

[ Thanks Steve! ]

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