Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fantastic Silver Swan automaton from 1773

This video shows the famous Silver Swan automaton. Attributed -- at least its mechanism -- to John Joseph Merlin, this amazing automaton dates back to the 1773.

The life-size bird is driven by clockwork. The swan floats on a pool cleverly made of glass rods which rotate to give the illusion of moving water. When sent in motion, a music box plays, the swan turns its head, snatches a silver fish from the pool, and swallows it.

The Silver Swan is now located the Bowes Museum in Teesdale, England where it is still operated once each day. Here's a link to The Silver Swan page on the Bowes Museum web site.

[ Thanks Joe! ]

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