Phroso ou La Poupée mystérieuse


Phroso ou La Poupée mystérieuse

Exhibition d'un automate énigmatique qui s'anime et redevient un être humain.

GAU 1903-09

The Mysterious Mechanical Toy

From the London Hippodrome and the Tivoli

The Fee paid by us to secure the exclusive right of cinematographing the above act is probably the highest ever disbursed for such a purpose. Its justification lies in the fact that the great “What is it?” has been a star turn for ever two months at each of the above world-renowned London Theatres, whither it has drawn record houses of mystified people endeavouring to solve the problem as to whether ‘Phroso’ is a Man or Automaton. This unique subject, which has been discussed at great length in the daily papers, has aroused the keenest interest among scientific circles. One learned doctor confessed himself baffled from the stage of the Tivoli after an examination of “Phroso”.
Shrewd exhibitors will not be slow to grasp the ‘Drawing Power’ of this subject when properly advertised, and for their assistance we reproduce the contents of two of the posters used by the Tivoli to advertise this turn :-

0721 01 0721 02

Our picture opens with “Phroso” beneath a sheet. Mr. Webster, the Manager, uncovers and introduces ‘it’ to the audience, at the same time

0721 03

inviting two gentlemen to step up and take seats on the stage, so as to closely examine every movement of the automaton.

As the different levers and keys are touched by Mr. Webster, ‘Phroso’ goes through his weird mechanical exhibition, walking backward and forward, bowing, &c., with uncanny precision which has made the act so attractive. Eventually ‘Phroso’ jerks round, loses its balance, and falls, but is caught by Mr. Webster before it reaches the ground.
Here a touch of comedy is introduced, for in lifting ‘Phroso.’ The doll’s mechanical arm begins to jerk rapidly up and down, and touching the gentleman’s extended hand gives him such a shock as to upset the committee, chairs and all, sprawling upon the stage, (The above two incidents have happened accidentally more than once during ‘Phroso’s’ public performances.)
The two gentlemen reseat themselves and watch ‘Phroso’ finishing his automatic exhibition, after which the secret is revealed by ‘Phroso’ taking off his hat and bowing, with a smile on his face, while the committee shake hands with him once again.
Very strongly recommended as a real ‘money winner.’ Quality A1.

GAU 1904-GB


1 Gaumont 721 L Elgé GB 99 special (GAU 1904-GB)
2 [Alfred, Claude Bromhead]  
3 01/1903-09/1903 37m/102f
4 Grande-BretagneLondres  




0721 04 0721 05
0721 06 0721 07
"What is it?"
Phroso, the wonderful mechanical doll at the London Hippodrome
The Sketch, London, 15 oct. 1902, p. 511