Showmanship

Get a load of this guy:

This dapper young chap was one of the many forms of entertainment on offer at the coronation of George IV on January 29th, 1820. I wanted to post this so that I could express admiration for the inventiveness of this fellow. I would probably go so far as to surmise that the wheel that the squirrel is driving has outward facing pins that are arranged so as to strike the bells in a certain order, not unlike most inexpensive modern music boxes. Although the concept of having a studded cylinder strike bells was not unprecedented at the time (the idea originated in the 14th century; bells were replaced by combs in 1796), most music boxes were driven by wound-up springs rather than small animals. In a world where the foremost inventors are preoccupied by trying to combine phones, computers and mp3 players, it seems like the true blue, grassroots creativity displayed by our young showman here seems lost. Stymied by the anti-affirmative action lobby, RIAA lawsuits, street entertainment permits and PETA, similar inventors today would be ridiculed into unemployment.

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