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
Art Deco Elegance And The Mystery Arm
When the propeller is spun, a hidden arm rises out of the machine, collects one of the balls from the top, and drops it into the base before rising again.
How It WorksHow It's MadeHow It Went

This machine is not only fascinating to watch, there's an air of mystery to the whole thing, for some people have a difficult time figuring out exactly how it works.

However, at its simplest, the machine basically works like a yo-yo, in the sense that it uses rotational inertia. Just as a string is tied between a yo-yo's axle and one's finger, a string is attached between the machine's central axle and its hidden scooper arm.

When the brass "propeller" is spun, the string winds around the machine's axle, which causes the arm to rise until it hits a trigger mechanism that releases one of 24 hidden balls. (It's the weight of each falling ball that keeps powering the machine beyond the initial spin.)

As the arm lowers the ball into the base's removable drawer, it causes the "propeller" to spin in the opposite direction before the arm rises again and the entire process repeats itself. Since the machine has 24 balls (which are manually fed into the machine through a hole in the back), it will complete 24 cycles until it comes to a stop.

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