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Pennsylvania museum automaton has link to Scorsese's 'Hugo'
The inner workings of an approximately 210-year-old automaton are shown at The Franklin Institute science museum in Philadelphia. The mechanized doll, animated by a complex system of spring-driven motors and brass cams, can write three poems and draw four pictures. Martin Scorsese's movie "Hugo," nominated for 11 Academy Awards including best picture, has started most recent wave of interest in the automaton. AP Photo/Matt Rourke.

By: Joann Loviglio, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP).- An Academy Award-nominated movie is casting a bright spotlight on an unusual machine at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

The science museum's 200-year-old automaton is a mechanical doll animated by a complex system of motors and cams. It can write three poems and draw four pictures.

Martin Scorsese's movie "Hugo" is nominated for 11 Academy Awards including best picture. The story has a similar machine playing a key role.

The film itself is based on Brian Selznick's award-winning "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," an illustrated novel about a Parisian boy and a broken automaton with a secret buried inside its mechanical memory.

The author visited the Philadelphia automaton while researching his book.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.






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