Pennsylvania museum automaton has link to Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’

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By: Joann Loviglio, Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP).- An Academy Award-nominated movie is casting a bright spotlight on an unusual machine at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The science museum’s 200-year-old automaton is a mechanical doll animated by a complex system of motors and cams. It can write three poems and draw four pictures. Martin Scorsese’s movie “Hugo” is nominated for 11 Academy Awards including best picture. The story has a similar machine playing a key role. The film itself is based on Brian Selznick’s award-winning “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” an illustrated novel about a Parisian boy and a broken automaton with a secret buried inside its mechanical memory. The author visited the Philadelphia automaton while researching his book.