Mr. and Mrs. Bartle had enjoyed their day out at the Great Exhibition.
They had admired the phonograph that could store an incredible twelve wax cylinders and play them in any order; they had seen the amazing hydraulic hand (which had a slightly unfortunate range of gestures); and they had even made a purchase—a vessel that was kettle, pot and cup combined, and sold already filled to the brim with steaming tea.
And now to finish the day off, they were watching a charming gentleman in one of the booths demonstrating a serving platter.
“...so you see, you wind it up here—” The gentleman placed the platter flat on a table and rotated a handle. “—and then put this lever to ‘on’…”
The platter vibrated into life.
“Now you just have to enter your instructions.” The gentleman indicated the keyboard on the side of the platter. “For example…” His fingers clattered over the keys and there was a ping. The gen