Monday, May 18, 2015

An Automated, American Doll Named Sadie

      My name is Sadie, and I am the most wonderful doll on earth, or at least so they say. A citizen of the great United States of America, where dollies are more elaborate and perfect than anywhere else. You ought to see me when I am out with my little mistress, walking in Central Park. "Walking!" you exclaim. Oh, yes, I can walk, just as well as you can‚ after I have been wound up. And then, I am so big too. I stand about 2 1/2 feet high, and if you measure that out on a ruler by your own side, you will see how I should look if I were your own dolly. But I was telling you about my walking powers. Inside my body is placed a wonderful piece of machinery that can be wound up with a key, and when this is started, and you hold me by my hand, I can stroll along by your side, lifting each daintily booted foot exactly the same as you yourself do.
      And this is just where I am different from a human child, for they have to be taught to walk, while I was able to do so right from the beginning. If you have a baby brother or sister, you will have seen Mother or Nana carefully holding them between their hands, while they scrambled along in the funniest manner. All "humans" are like that, but high-class American dollies only need to be wound up, and from their youngest days they can walk quite firmly and strongly. It is rather a funny feeling, I can tell you, the first time someone turns the key and your legs begin to step out by themselves. Of course, there are lots and lotsof American dolls that cannot walk, any more than English or Chinese ones can, and these are just as much loved by the little girls to whom they belong as we are, though everyone admires me very much, and turns round to watch me as I walk by the side of my little mistress.
      Many years ago, that wonderful inventor T. A. Edison, who began life by selling papers at a railway station, invented a doll that could sing seven or eight different songs, by means of a wee gramophone placed just where my walking powers. She was never very popular with the girls to whom she was given, because she squeaked so much when she started to perform, and they did not love her half so well as a dolly that can take their hands and walk by their side along the roadway or round the garden.
      I know something about England, because I have been there once to " summer " as we say, and I liked that very much, but, of course, I have seen a great deal more of my own country and the many wonderful things it contains. New York is not the least little bit like London, for here the city cannot spread outwards and outwards as London does, because it is practically an island, and so it has grown upwards and upwards until our buildings reach to over twenty storeys in height. Just think of that! I was surprised the first time I went into the city, because, you see, my home is right out in the country, where there is only one house here and not another for several miles.
      One day we went down to the station and got on the car for the city, and after rushing along for hours and hours we found ourselves really and truly at Broadway Station. I did stare at the noise and the rush and bustle that surrounded me on all hands, and at the immense hotels and buildings that rose upwards in great, solid, square blocks. We were going to stay quite near to the top of one of these, and when we arrived there, we got into the lift and went up and up, until I thought we never were going to stop any more. But we did, and our hostess, Mrs. Mallison, after she had kissed my mistress, asked about me. "Her name is Sadie," said my owner, and Mrs. Mallison at once christened me afresh‚ "Sadie, the magnificent." 
      I did feel proud, too, as I took the hand of my mistress and walked across the apartment to the window, where we could look down from our dizzy height to the tiny people and cars, threading their way through the streets below us. But the most surprising thing of all was when we went out on to the roof garden. There, hundreds of feet above the earth, flowers were blooming in their pots, children were playing, grown-ups were sitting in deck chairs in the sunshine, while the great city hummed beneath. I was not long before I met one of my own sisters walking too, and before we returned to the country a fast friendship had sprung up between us, as well as between our two little owners, and the very next week that ever will be, she and Virginia (for that is my sister's name) are coming down to stay with us, so that we shall all have another jolly time.

"World's Largest Collection of Rustic Automata" video

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