Listen To A Tiny Machine From 1890 Make Birdsong - Atlas Obscura
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Listen To A Tiny Machine From 1890 Make Birdsong

The whirs and ticks of a restored mechanical bird are oddly soothing, and very accurate.

Before the tech age, hot new gadgets were wonders of mechanical ingenuity. 

The above video shows a mechanical singing bird from Paris circa 1890. It’s not much larger than the size of a fist but reproduces the sound of birdsong almost exactly. Even though your new iPhone may be capable of the same feat, you can bet it doesn’t look nearly as steampunk while doing it.

The whirs and ticks of the mechanism somehow add to the soothing element of the song and video, which makes it perfect viewing to end a long week. Be careful about playing it out loud at your desk, though—your coworkers may think that a bird has made its way into the office.

Every day we track down a Video Wonder: an audiovisual offering that delights, inspires, and entertains. Have you encountered a video we should feature? Email ella@atlasobscura.com.