If you didn't catch it yesterday, Boing Boing posted an online interview with the legendary John Gaughan yesterday. Gaugh is the mechanical mastermind behind many famous magical effects and illusions. He is also an expert on various forms of automata and has a collection of important historical pieces and recreations. The interview spends a good deal of time discussing The Turk -- the infamous chess-playing automaton -- an authentic recreation of which (see below) sits among John Gaughan's massive assortment of magical possessions.
Among his many automata treasures is a mechanical life-size figure of Harry Houdini who will sign his name on a piece of paper (see video below).
Here is the full interview with John Gaughan on Boing Boing.