Meccano was a model construction system that consisted of re-usable metal strips, plates, angle girders, wheels, axles and gears, with nuts and bolts to connect the pieces and enabled the building of working models and mechanical devices. Dinky Toys pioneered the manufacture of die-cast toys with the production of toy cars, trains and ships and model train sets became popular in the 1920s. The Britain's company revolutionized the production of toy soldiers with the invention of the process of hollow casting in lead in 1893 – the company's products remained the industry standard for many years.
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More complex mechanical and optics-based toys were also invented. Carpenter and Westley began to mass-produce the kaleidoscope, invented by Sir David Brewster in 1817, and had sold over 200,000 items within three months in London and Paris. The company was also able to mass-produce magic lanterns for use in phantasmagoria and galanty shows, by developing a method of mass production using a copper plate printing process. Popular imagery on the lanterns included royalty, flora and fauna, and geographical/man-made structures from around the world. The modern zoetrope was invented in 1833 by British mathematician William George Horner and was popularized in the 1860s. Wood and porcelain dolls in miniature doll houses were popular with middle class girls, while boys played with marbles and toy trains.
From the high-energy, Balkan party-atmosphere of Goran Bregovic Wedding and Funeral Band to the intimate and personal Anoushka Shankar, our BD&P World Music series shines with talent from around the world. In our TD Jazz season, we ignite the stage with every style of jazz, from the hip-hop vibe of José James (channeling Bill Withers) to traditional jazz legend David Sanborn. National Geographic Live features conservationists, anthropologists, and astrobiologists, ready to share their inspiring stories and stunning photography with you. PCL Blues brings another season of some of the best voices in blues today, including Duke Robillard, Dom Flemons, and the Queen of Detroit’s Blues, Thornetta Davis. Finally, Classic Albums Live delivers a healthy dose of nostalgia with Suptertramp’s Crime of the Century, Led Zeppelin IV, and AC/DC’s Back in Black.
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