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1851 Great Exhibition: Official Catalogue: Class X.: Mx. C. De Dunin

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Count Dunin's Mechanical Figure

210. DUNIN, Mx. C. DE, London — Inventor, Manufacturer and Patentee.

Piece of mechanism intended to illustrate the different proportions of the human figure: it admits of being expanded from the size of the Apollo Belvidere to that of a colossal statue.

The external part of the figure consists of a series of steel and copper plates sliding upon each other, and kept in contact by screws, nuts, and spiral springs; attached to these plates, and within the figure, are metal slides, having projecting pins at their extremities: these pins are inserted in curved grooves cut in circular steel plates; the curvature of these grooves being so arranged that when the steel plates are put in revolution by a train of wheels and screws the slides belonging to each particular part of the figure are expanded or contracted in correct proportion. The elongation of the figure is accomplished either by sliding metal tubes, provided with racks, and acted upon by a combination of wheels, or by screws and slides, as found most applicable for each particular part. Besides the general adjustments described, each part of the figure has an independent and separate adjustment, by which it can be put out of its correct likeness to the Apollo Belvedere, and made to represent the deformities or peculiarities of form of any individual. The varieties of figure and size of the human body are so numerous that it necessarily requires a great number of movements to represent them. Some idea may be formed of the number of mechanical combinations included in the figure, from the following list of the parts of which it is constructed, viz.-875 framing-pieces, 48 grooved steel plates, 163 wheels, 202 slides, 476 metal washers, 482 spiral springs, 704 sliding plates, 32 sliding tubes, 497 nuts, 3500 fixing and adjusting screws, and a considerable number of steadying pinions, etc., making the number of pieces, of which the figure is composed, upwards of 7000. It is stated that this invention could easily be made applicable in the artist's studio; but that its more immediate object is to facilitate the exact fitting of garments, more especially in cases where great numbers are to be provided for, as in the equipment of an army, or providing clothing for a distant colony; that personal attendance is not required, since there is adapted to the figure, a new system of measurement which enables any person to take the exact size and form of an individual; and from the measurement so taken, the figure can be adjusted to represent correctly the person to be fitted, so that the clothing may be tried on, and, if necessary, altered with as much facility as if the original person, whose measure had been taken, were present.

An establishment provided with three or four of such figures, would be sufficient to fit perfectly, and without any subsequent alteration, the clothing of an army of several hundred thousand men, at whatever distance they might be from the establishment.

The inventor states it as his intention to present this figure to his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias.

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