The "Monkey on Velocipede" automaton shown here was made by Vichy of Paris, France, in the 1860s. The piece is part of the huge Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments & Automata now held by the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey. To provide some historical background on automata in time for the upcoming release of the movie Hugo Jere Ryder, the museum's conservator, will discuss the Guinness collection during a talk Saturday, Nov. 5, at Westport Public Library in Westport, Connecticut. Titled "Hugo Cabret: The Magical World of Automata", the talk will be from 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM.
If you haven't read the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret yet, you still have about three weeks before the movie comes out to do so. At the very least, you'll want to buy this book as a holiday gift for the young people in your life. This wonderful book is full of illustrations and features an automaton as a central part of the story.
Here is where you can find out more about the talk: Hugo Cabret: The Magical World of Automata.