Men v. Machinery

To work all the suspended scenery by an electric motor instead of by hand, Mr. Frank Curzon has just had an installation, invented by Mr. Edward Lytton, put up at Wyndham’s Theatre, and yesterday he saw it in working for the first time.

The saving of labour, money, and time effected by the machinery is wonderful, for now, instead of a theatre requiring from ten to thirty men—according to the work to be done—up in the flies, one man with the machine, which will not cost more than a shilling a week for electric power, can raise and lower all the scene cloths and sky borders and the curtain. It will set a ceiling-piece automatically, will take up scenes at the same moment as it is lowering others, and obviates the necessity of the stage carpenter calling up directions as to whether or not the scenery has been let down the correct distance.

The fact that wire instead of hempen ropes are use has, for reason of safety in case of fire, secured the approval of the London County Council, and the reliability of the machine has been guaranteed by the experiments which the inventor has carried out at the Coronet Theatre.
Daily Mail, Jan. 22nd.

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