Tuesday, December 11, 2012

120-Year-Old Mechanical Device that Perfectly Mimics the Song of a Bird, Repost from This Is Colossal

We have come extremely far in technology, but once an automaton such as the bird chirping box below reveals its secrets, it is fair to realize how great inventive minds were over a 120 years ago. You needn't be an ornithologist to appreciate this fine piece of machinery. Do yourself a favor and watch the gears and air box moving, while thinking on the sound you are hearing. This craftsman was a true visionary.

View original post on This Is Colossal

A 120 Year Old Mechanical Device that Perfectly Mimics the Song of a Bird device birds automata

"Get out the headphones or turn up your speakers and prepare to be impressed by archaic 19th century engineering. Relying on dozens of moving parts including gears, springs, and a bellows, this small contraption built in 1890 was designed to do one thing: perfectly mimic the random chatter of a song bird. At first I expected to hear a simple repeating pattern of tweets, but the sounds produced by the mechanism are actually quite complex and vary in pitch, tone, and even volume to create a completely realistic song. I think if you closed your eyes you might not be able to tell the difference between this and actual birdsong. It’s believed the machine was built 120 years ago in Paris by Blaise Bontems, a well-known maker of bird automata and was recently refurbished by Michael Start over at The House of Automata. Can any of you ornithologists identify the bird? If so, get in touch. (via the automata blog)

Update: And if you liked that, check out this pair of matching signing bird pistols that sold at auction last year for $5.8 million."