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If you’ve read Umberto Eco’s novel, you’ll probably want to come here just to see Foucault’s original pendulum swing in the church of St-Martin-des-Champs, but there are plenty of other reasons to spend a couple of hours at this temple of technology. The Musée harbors sterling examples of just about every discovery that made the mechanical world possible. True techies will linger over the many displays of gearboxes, steam engines, and other historic gizmos; the less technically inclined will probably prefer the first versions of telephones, movie cameras, and toasters. A lot of “firsts” are here, like the first omnibus (a “high-speed” steam vehicle built in 1873), and the Blériot XI (the first plane to cross the English Channel), as well as the earliest examples of phonographs, lightbulbs, and tape decks. Those “new” antiques—the typewriters, record players, and VCRs on display in those old wooden cases—drive home the fact that the technological revolution is ongoing, and today’s wonders will be tomorrow’s curiosities.