The Huffington Post published an article online yesterday about the automaton in the Martin Scorsese film Hugo and its connection to a real automaton now housed at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The article covers the fascinating journey of this remarkable machine, created around 1800 my the Swiss watchmaker, Henri Maillardet. The story of the real automaton parallels that of the one in author Brian Selznick's book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, to a remarkable degree -- right down to the automaton identifying its lost lineage by writing a message. This really happened!
Here is a link to the full article from The Huffington Post titled Franklin Institute Automaton Has Link To 'Hugo'.