Topic: machines

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Made in Sheffield: How A L Simpkins sweets are made

A molten mix transforms into British travel sweets right before our eyes in this A L Simpkins factory video from Museums Sheffield. The company, first founded in the 1920s, ships their sweets to over 40 countries arou...

The Big Sort: An Insider’s Tour of a Recycling Plant

Every day at the Sims Municipal Recycling facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, roughly 800 tons of recyclables meander through a tangle of machines, scanners, and conveyor belts. Mountains of discarded metals, glass, an...

Automata artist Matt Smith and his Curious Contraptions

Born in 1965, Matt Smith spent about six weeks at the Falmouth School of Art before deciding he would rather spend his time "making silly things." He began making automata in 1980 and, in 1986, formed the Fourteen Bal...

How Do They Braid Rope?

How do they braid rope in a factory? This wordless 1997 short film by Don White for the National Film Board of Canada showcases the machines that twist and spool ropes of all sizes. For more detail, American twist...

How woolly sweaters are made

It's time for the sheep to take off her woolly coat, so we can wash it, card it, spin it, knit it, and wear it! Enjoy this excellent video from The Magic of Making, a journey from sheep shearing to the sweater shop...

A ramp and pulley marble machine game

This simple marble machine game made from ramps and a pulley system moves marbles from the bottom of the course to the top, circulating them over and over again. The kid playing the game is able to keep the three marb...

A LEGO lawn mower man endlessly cuts the grass

A LEGO man mows his LEGO lawn, endlessly pushing a LEGO lawn mower. This kinetic sculpture was created by Jason Allemann, aka JK Brickworks, and can be powered by hand crank or motor. The illusion of grass-cutting...

Journey of a Letter: How a birthday card is sent and delivered in London

How does a letter find its way from where it's written to the mailbox on the corner, to the post office, and out to the person it's being sent to? London's new Postal Museum shares this journey through the Royal Mail ...

Hand cranked mechanical singing birds by Bliss Kolb

This hand-cranked mechanical bird sings from a small leather bellows that whistles in two notes. A cam presses a lever that changes the pitch while other cams pull on strings that animate the bird's six movements as i...

How knives, forks, and spoons are made

How are knives, forks, and spoons made? In this video from The Magic of Making, we go behind-the-scenes with the workers and machines that cut, stamp, bend, sharpen, and polish silverware into its final forms. We ...

EYES, a series of playful kinetic installations

Look left, look right, and get googly. EYES is a series of playful kinetic installations by Helsinki-based director, designer, and animator Lucas Zanotto. Watch as balls swing, leak, float, fly, and bobble about, maki...

Where It’s Made: Visit the LEGO Factory in 360°

LEGO House, LEGO's brand new visitor center, is now open in Billund, Denmark. The New York Times peeks at a few Experience Zones in the new building, as well as some of the LEGO-making machines within the factory in t...

How Kanazawa gold leaf is made

Far too delicate to touch with fingertips—just one ten-thousandth of a millimeter thick—gold leaf foil is an extremely delicate, almost transparent material. It requires a humid climate, pure water for the manufacturi...

A soapless tunnel washing truck in Switzerland

How many giant brushes can you fit on the back of a truck? This promo video from Swiss road works company Colas Suisse features their 'eco-friendly' tunnel washing truck, a soapless vehicle that uses water pressure an...

How balloons are made – The Magic of Making

How are balloons made? In this video from The Magic of Making, a series of short films for kids created in partnership with with BBC Worldwide, we begin with a history lesson about Kew Gardens and stolen rubber trees ...

Wooden domino row building machine

I first built a domino row building machine of this type in 1985 out of Lego, then built it again from memory in 2009 to make a video of it. The machine works by pushing a magazine full of dominoes forward along the t...

How Does It Grow? Blueberries

Wild blueberries are native to the Americas, from forests in the Andes Mountains northward to the Arctic tundra. They were an important part of the food, culture, and medicinal practices of North America's indigenous ...

California Ripe Olives: From Orchard to Store Shelf

Black olives don't start out black. The process that turns this fruit black was invented by Freda Ehmann in Oakland, California during the mid-1890s, and even green olives from the tree go through processes that turn ...

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