Antique French Gadgets

Today, I hit Paris's Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. It's an amazing museum full of scientific instruments and machines, mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries. Coming off of PopSci's Repurposed Tech contest, it struck me how single purpose these early machines were, and yet how stunning the level of craftsmanship and engineering that went into everything from early printing presses to astronomical clocks. See for yourself: Here's a quick gallery of some of the highlights. And let me apologize in advance: Most of the signage was in French, so my details on some of these things are sketchy; also, they didn't allow flash photography and I only had my little Elph pocket cam, so forgive the slight fuzziness.