Last Updated: 10/6/2008


"Automata; Mechanical Marvels of the Ninteenth Century" produced by Christian & Sharon Bailly, narrated by Dick Cavett, filmed by John Dessarzin, released in 1992 by Magic World Productions, in NTSC Format. Running Time 52 Minutes.

Text from the publisher reads as follows:

"Automata were mechanical marvels of the 19th century, fragile compositions of cardboard, metal and paint, animated only by the genius and ingenuity of their makers.

They incarnate the most fascinating aspects of turn-of-the-century Paris, whether they show ordinary people at their daily tasks, acrobats performing incredible tricks, or colorful entertainers.

With this documentary, the viewer embarks on an unprecedented voyage into a fascinating world. The history of mechanical figures, from Antiquity to the height of their popularity during the nineteenth century, is illustrated with period documents. Rare footage of the interior mechanisms and explanatory diagrams afford the layman a clear understanding of how they actually work.

But perhaps the most enjoyable of all is just watching the automata in motion dancers, acrobats, magicians, clowns - over 80 pieces selected from among the most outstanding collections worldwide. Many of them have never before been shown to the public, and never together on one videocassette.

Come explore the world of automata in this 52-minute videocassette, incorporating much original music of the actual automata as well as enjoyable period music... "

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