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Urban Science: To Demonstrate How Spiders Fly 1909

  • May 16, 1909
  • 1 mins
  • F. Percy Smith
  • English
  • Animation, Documentary

This charming short film is surprisingly technically advanced for its time, using a mechanical spider to demonstrate how the creatures spin the threads to create their webs. Suddenly the spider lifts up all of its legs, allowing itself to be dragged through the air, an effect that is both amusing and disarming, before gracefully descending through a series of mid-air acrobatics. Percy Smith believed he could cure people of their arachnophobia with his short films showing enlarged replicas of spiders, and certainly most viewers would be more delighted than scared by the mechanical star of this short. The final image of a real spider scrabbling around its web might be less endearing, however.

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