February 13, 2011
This comes from a post at Futility Closet. After noting that Mark Twain had described this swan in Innocents Abroad, the post continues:
The swan still exists, now on display at England's Barnard Castle. As a music box plays, the life-size creature preens, searches a flowing "stream" of rotating glass rods, spies a fish, and catches and swallows it. No one knows who designed it, but it's certainly more than two centuries old — it's described in a 1773 Act of Parliament.
(A Wikipedia article claims this swan was made by John J. Merlin. - JdJ)
Posted by joke du jour at February 13, 2011 11:02 AM
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Re: Silver Swan Automaton
Ahem. I don't want to seem fussy here, folks. Swans are herbivores and don't eat fish. Nice gimmick though.
Posted by: David at February 14, 2011 11:09 AM
Right. The Wikipedia article also mentions that swans don't eat fish.
Posted by: JdJ at February 14, 2011 07:19 PM