The use of machinery on stage is staggering in its variety. A machine may move a load in excess of 100,000 pounds, or drop a feather on cue. An effect may be as simple as a pneumatic cylinder closing a door, or as complex as a whole system of synchronized winches assembling the pieces of a chandelier into a single unit over the audience’s heads. There have been battery powered wirelessly controlled boats, hydraulically elevated flying cars, and over one hundred years ago, chariot races complete with real horses running on treadmills, and locomotives racing along belching smoke, sparks, and steam. All of the machinery used for these effects share one thing in common, they were all designed and built specifically for use in one production ...

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