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A Mechanical Doll That Will Crawl All the Way Into Your Nightmares

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The next time your kid complains about not having the latest and greatest toys, just point to them towards this photo of what children in the late 1800s had to play with. On one hand they'll certainly start appreciating what they've got, but on the other they probably won't sleep for a week because this thing will haunt their dreams.

The Creeping Baby Doll was originally patented by Robert J. Clay in March of 1871, but the prototype pictured above is actually an improved model, part of the Smithsonian's collection, created by George P. Clarke who also happened to be Clay's boss. Not surprisingly, neither design saw much success since the doll was incredibly heavy, its mechanism was quite finicky, and even though it would be sold wearing clothes to cover up its insides, it still seems like it could inspire countless horror stories. [The History Blog via BoingBoing]