3D Entertainment, Colonial-style

Geek Culture

Just because they didn’t have electricity in Colonial America doesn’t mean they didn’t have 3D entertainment. Just take a look at what’s playing on this 18th century box in the video above. And we’re not talking G-rated pap, either: the typical Punch and Judy puppet show for the kiddies contained plenty of violence, horror and thrills.

Living as we do in the shadow of the Saratoga Monument, site of what has been called the most important battle of the last millenium, we tend to come across a lot of Colonial Era activities. One of our favorites is 18th Century Day, where families get a taste of daily life before Nintendo. Along with the low-tech version of Saw III above, all kinds of unwired crafts, trades, and gadgets are demonstrated. Kids get to risk disfigurement dipping pieces of string into bubbling cauldrons of molten wax to make candles, try out toys and games that never need batteries, and watch snake-oil salesmen give their spiel in an early version of stand-up comedy.

The last couple of years, I not only got to observe, I also took part, showing visitors how instant pictures were made in the days before digital cameras. Here are some of the other 18th century equivalents of modern life:

Picture 1 of 4

You couldn't play Rock Band, but you could still join in the music.

Yes, that’s me in the Mother Hubbard hat at this year’s event. I had a great time.

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