Tag: France

WWI: Soldiers’ Leisure and Feasts in the Rear

On November 11, 1918, the Compiègne Agreement was signed in northern France, which ended the First World War (1914 – 1918), or, as it was then called, the Great War. For that time, it was the most massive and bloody military conflict of all the previous 15 thousand conflicts known: 38 states, having mobilized 68 million people, fought for economic dominance and territory for more than four years.

Automaton for Marie Antoinette and exclusive mechanisms

Sublime Dreams of Living Machines. Part I. Not so long ago, a short video of a truly uncanny dulcimer-playing wind-up automaton made for Marie Antoinette in 1784 appeared online. The queen was no stranger to extravagance, we know, but why this machine, this wonderful human-like machine, which must have taxed the greatest artisans and mechanics of her time? What was its appeal?