Gives you time to work

Gives you time to work

If you remember von Kempelen's version of the performance, you'll see now why his long-winded descriptive patter was so important.

By this time in its history, Maelzel used fewer props, kept the automaton behind a velvet rope and no longer allowed a close inspection of the interior -- he merely showed the cabinet as a modern stage magician would. This not only made the performance faster to keep up with the audience's shrinking attention spans, but also required more agility on the part of the director.