"The Busy World" Automaton Wagon, 1847

Summary

"Automaton" generally refers to a non-electric moving machine that performs a predetermined set of operations. This automaton wagon, "The Busy World," features 365 carved wooden figures (some with racially stereotyped features) moving in six different scenes. Settings include a military parade, a factory, a dance hall, and various Bible stories. The wagon's lively, hand-cranked animations entertained children and adults alike at fairs and special exhibits.

"Automaton" generally refers to a non-electric moving machine that performs a predetermined set of operations. This automaton wagon, "The Busy World," features 365 carved wooden figures (some with racially stereotyped features) moving in six different scenes. Settings include a military parade, a factory, a dance hall, and various Bible stories. The wagon's lively, hand-cranked animations entertained children and adults alike at fairs and special exhibits.

Artifact

Automata

Date Made

1847

Location

Not on exhibit to the public.

Object ID

64.165.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford.

Material

Wood (Plant material)
Glass (Material)
Metal

Dimensions

Height: 8 ft  (top is flat)

Width: 66 in  (at hubs)

Length: 147 in  (with front (driver's seat) hanging board removed.)

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