Antique French Gadgets

PopSci travels to Paris's Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers to round up the scientific instruments and machines of the 18th and 19th centuries.

frenchgadg_elec.jpg

Believe this had something to do with generating electricity.

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Some kind of early telegraph . . . I think the guy cranking one handle could Morse-code the dude cranking the other. Mostly they'd talk about what that dome on the top is for.

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Couldn't read the sign for this old plane, but it contained a picture of a bat and the figure 16 meters.

frenchgadg_phono.jpg

Edison phonograph from the late 19th century.

frenchgadg_comp.jpg

Crazy supercomputer from the 1970s. I wonder if it can run homebrew . . .

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A nine cylinder, two stroke, radial aircraft engine. Probably from the early 1930s. (Thanks to Steve Long)

frenchgadg_micro.jpg

Electron microscope from the 1970s.

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Can't for the life of me remember what this was--I think it had something to do with mathematics machines, but doesn't it just look like something out of the Matrix ship?

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This was called a 'portable typewriter' . . . couldn't tell if it had Bluetooth.

frenchgadg_watchcam.jpg

The original watch-cam--very sneaky.

frenchgadg_steam2.jpg

This was something like one of the last steam engine designs--apparently it was once used to pump water from the Seine.

frenchgadg_chem.jpg

A chemical set near the early photography and daguerreotype exhibits . . . also what I imagine Theo Gray's cupboard looks like.

frenchgadg_tel.jpg

Grover Bell telephone set, 1896. Not sure why the tubes are so long. I think back then people's ears were much farther from their mouths.

frenchgadg_cam.jpg

A television camera circa 1960--I think this is the front.