Dr Faber's talking machine was part of the Barnum
Were they in the United States, then ?
Unfortunately in 1865 a fire broke out in the
"American Museum" and the flames from the first floor
reached the upper floors —where the animals and mechanical
objects were—too quickly. An eye-witness told: " It was a
sudden deafening noise of yelling apes, miaowing cats , belling
dogs, screaming parrots, growling bears... a kangaroo uttered a
distress sound while the birds were fluttering wildly in their cages."
No animal could be rescued. Two sperm whales which arrived the week
before burnt down into steam. The total loss damage amounted $400,000.
A few months later, P.-T.Barnum who was always
in fighting form, acquired new collections and reopened a museum
in New York. Unfortunately, neither his optimism nor his amazing
daring idea could bring the wonderful automatons—which were
created by patient and hardworking clockmakers and mechanics—back