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feature article - february 2009

Pabst Mansion showcases revolutionary devices
From 100 years ago

MILWAUKEE’S CAPTAIN FREDERICK PABST Mansion is demonstrating how mechanical toys and musical instruments at the turn of the 20th century were as revolutionary as cellphones and digital devices of today..

“Wind it Up: 19th and early 20th Century Mechanical Devices” is the theme of a special exhibit on display at the mansion, 2000 We. Wisconsin Ave., through June 7.

The special exhibit includes:

• Rare and elaborate French automatons with intricate mechanical movements depicting activities from the everyday to the fantastical.

• Hand carved Geerman whistlers that whistle folk tunes.

• Music boxes, from simple children’s boxes to elaborate and intricately made orchestral boxes.

• Clocks from American utilitarian to French ornamental.

Live demonstrations of select items from the exhibition are scheduled Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. tours.

One of Milwaukee’s most popular tourist attractions, the Pabst Mansion, 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave., is closed Mondays in February, but is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tues.-Sat. and Noon-4 p.m. Sun.




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