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June 5, 2017 AT 9:38 am

Video Showing the Inner Workings of the Maillardet Automaton | @TheFranklin

Kudos to Fran Blanche for sharing this video on her YouTube channel, showing some of the inner workings of the Maillardet Automaton, known for writing poems and making drawings all on its own! (Or does it have assistant?!)

A montage of closeups illustrating the dance of the inner workings of the 220+ year old Maillardet Automaton in action. I shot this footage in February 2014 during some routine maintenance at the Franklin Institute, with Andrew Baron and William LaFond also present. What, no audio? Actually the sports exhibit hall is right outside the door and the noise of that drowned out any sounds the Automaton makes, which is actually almost nothing. The Maillardet Automaton is quiet by design, as its clockwork is entirely encased in the cabinet base, so when running it makes no noticeable sounds.

Here’s a drawing made by the machine and a graphic from the New York Times circa 2011 that shows how the automaton works (the machine was the basis for Scorsese’s film “Hugo.”

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