Joe's thirst for knowledge uncovered another fascinating item: the patent for the animated greeting cards. Titled GREETING CARD MOTION SYSTEM WITH MODULAR DESIGN, the patent is full of diagrams...many depicting card designs I have yet to see on the store shelves. (Note: There are some new designs out for Halloween, 2008!)
Some automata of old were patented, but it must not have proved to be worth the effort. Many designs were not patented and the European makers of the last century copied each other with abandon.
Check out the full online version of the patent for the GREETING CARD MOTION SYSTEM WITH MODULAR DESIGN.
[ Thanks to Joe Freedman of The Sarabande Press! ]