EXHIBITS > The toys of the ancient Greeks >
The magic horse of Heron
(Horse decapitated and drinking)
It was an amazing arrangement of a horse and a herdsman that showed (by the presenter of the automaton) to cut with a knife through the neck of the horse and simultaneously this automatically continued drinking water from the cup which he held in his hand.
It consisted of a most ingenious rotating wheel that ensured the stability of the horse's head at the complete cutting off of the neck and a complicated mechanism of toothed bars and toothed sectors that separated and reconnected the telescopic pipe of the horse automatically during the severance. With the manually-operated rotation of the herdsman (opposite to that of the horse) the water from the upper container of the base of the automaton emptied into the container below causing the required vacuum in the incorporated drinking pipe of the horse and consequently the continuous drinking from the cup of water.
SOURCES: "Heron of Alexandria, Pneumatica, (78)"