Animated Figures

by Peter Henderson

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There are a lot of things that make the John Smith organ special, with plans and video in their straightforward form they work well for the complete novice, whilst allowing a personalised version for the more adventurous. The basic organ is of lightweight construction and could be the lightest real organ in the world!
Herewith photo of Rosie, you will notice that she now has two carved gentlemen behind a balustrade and now weighs a thumping 22 lbs!

The additions have been a success and the idea came from an antique market where this broken little man was residing in a box. Now renovated he animates by nylon fishing lines and removes his hat, and bends at the neck and waist. He has regained his cork base and is a bottle decoration probably from the twenties.

I took the idea further and made a conductor who bows, and moves both arms, and head sideways.

The animation for the conductor's arms is taken from 2 sets of pins placed in the face of the Hoover driving wheel, so that he beats time to the music.  The head is strung to the top of the reservoir (short of air, looks left!). Both figures bow together using a hidden trigger within the left organ lifting aperture. This goes down very well with the children making interaction with their responses. Also a way of thanking for donations!

I recommend for the John Smith organ some sort of animated object as other organ grinders seem to have. There are many ingenious ways.

My prototype man is currently residing in John's workshop, I think John is working on another variation which should prove interesting.

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