Art Deco Majesty
A Clockwork Folly
An Old Brownie Movie Camera Put To Bad Use
The Zig-Zagging Rolling Ball Machine
Ballet With Three Pendulums
Art Deco Elegance And The Mystery Arm
Victor Rat Trap No. 1
Victor Rat Trap No. 2
Victor Rat Trap No. 3
Wimshurst Electrical Discharge Machine
Up One Spiral And Down The Other
Mechanical Snakedance
The Altar Of Complexity
La Grande Machine: A Towering Mechanical Symphony
The Altar Of Complexity
Steel balls pay tribute to the altar by taking turns powering a
brass propeller during their descent into their troughs.
How It WorksHow It's MadeHow It Went

The action of this machine is very complex, mainly due to all the pulleys, triggering devices, and compensating mechanisms needed to facilitate the main movements.

A brass "propeller" is attached to a wooden "see-saw"-shaped arm through a cord that snakes through a maze of pulleys. When the propeller is spun, the arm rises until it hits a trigger that releases one of 10 steel balls from a dispensing mechanism. (It's the weight of each falling ball that powers the machine beyond the initial spin.)

As the arm lowers the ball into a receiving trough, the propeller spins in the opposition direction, which causes the other end of the arm to rise until it triggers the release of another ball, and the entire process repeats itself.

In some ways, this visually satisfying machine is a more authoritative, masculine version of my "Art Deco Elegance And The Mystery Arm" machine.

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