Archive for July, 2007

Joueuse de Tympanon


The folks over at Curious Expedition has an interesting post on automatas and link to a YouTube video of the famous Joueuse de Tympanon automata which was built for Marie Antoinette the wife of Louis XVI. It was built by David Roentgen and Pierre Kintzing. The automata is a two foot tall musician who actually played the dulcimer striking its strings with hammers in her hands. It should be noted that the automata was reconstructed by Robert-Houdin (the famous magacian Houdini took his stage name from Houdin although he later denounced Houdin).


World’s Smallest Wooden Clock with Wooden Gears


Here is a picture of the world’s smallest wooden clock with gears. The height of the movement is only 2.2 cm! (Source: Paul Gerber’s website)

Marble Adding Machine


William G pointed our attention to a 6 Bit Marble AddingMachine mentioned on the Wired Blog. They also have a video on their site so be sure to check out the wired link. One of these days I think someone will try to make a wooden difference engine. In the mean time here is an excerpt.

Woodwork hacker Matthias Wandel has built this amazing binary marble adding machine. The device can store the binary states of six bits, and use them to add numbers from one to 63. It works with simple rockers, tipped by the marbles to represent zero or one.

Thanks for the pointer William!



Brenden sent me an e-mail stating that he and his friend Holly “rewrote the script of the movie Hackers as a Victorian clockpunk adventure, including a “Da Vinci Automaton” that threatens to destroy London.” I am glad that he sent us the e-mail as the result is really terrafic. On his blog he also describes how the idea of the story originated

Instead, Holly and I spent a few weeks interpolating the movie script into 1860s London, replacing the absurd computer-feats with absurd clockwork and technobabble with Victorian slang.

I especially liked their slogan, “Clock the Planet.” The script of their Hackers parody is available on the Clockers website. Additionally they also have audio of the ‘movie’ in mp3 and ogg. Check out the Clockers at the following URL:  (Highly Recommended)

July 2007
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Knowing and Doing

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“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” - Leonardo Da Vinci