How Can This 1890 Automaton Produce Such Surprisingly Realistic Bird Songs?

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It’s hard to look back at 120 year old devices like this and think of them as technology. Where’s the touchscreen, the OS, the battery? But this 19th century automaton that produces remarkably authentic bird songs would have been cutting-edge tech back then. And even now, it’s still pretty damn impressive.

Originally created in Paris by a well-known craftsman named Blaise Bontems, the automaton has recently been completely restored by Michael Start. And while all of the steel mechanisms were seized up from rust, the original bellows was still in great condition and works even to this day. So it turns out even those on the cutting edge of technology 120 years ago knew a thing or two about tweets. [YouTube via Notcot]