North Side: The Carnegie Science Center
The Great Miniature Railroad and Village: Animations
- Bell Ringer
- Ferris Wheel
- Lady Beating a Carpet
- Lady at the Spinning Wheel
- Man on the Flying Trapeze
- (inside the big top, evening performances only)
- Man Tipping His Hat
- Man Trying to Start His Model T
- Old Grist Mill
- Ore Bridge of the Steel Mill
- Rocking Chair and the Black Cat's Tail
- Skip Cars on the Blast Furnace
- "The Mighty Casey" at Bat (striking out and staring in disbelief at the umpire!)
- The Yellow House with the Lady Walking the Baby
- Tree Swings
- Washerwomen at their Washboards
- Work Crews with Axes, Picks and Shovels
Incredible Animations Number Nearly 100
To find the real activity at The Great Miniature Railroad & Village, you have to go beneath the display! Below the surface, dozens of motors power nearly 100 animations throughout the display.
Everywhere you look there is a flurry of motion. You may catch a person taking a walk, starting a car, or swinging from a tree swing. Boats of all types move along the extensive river system.
Look closely and you find several animations make up the steel mill, each powered by at least one motor; cars unloading limestone, iron ore and coal; the ore bridge--which moves sideways and holds a clamshell bucket that moves up and down and across the bridge's expanse; skip cars carrying measured loads to the blast furnace; ladle cars carrying molten pig iron to the open hearth building.
Each of the animations is a work of art. Some take months to refine, depending upon how complex the animation needs to be. After the movement is perfected, each is handpainted, or "antiqued," in a 1920s fashion. And as many as 60 of the current stock of animations have been completely rebuilt to fit with the new computerized control system. (32)