This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
The small engraving which we reproduce herewith from La Nature is deposited at the Archives at Paris. It is catalogued in the documents relating to Old Marly, 1714, under number 11,339, Vol. 1. The design represents a diversion called the Jeu de la Roulette which was indulged in by the royal family at the sumptuous and magnificent chateau of Mary-le-Roi.
PLEASURE CAR; RAILWAY AND TURN-TABLE OF THE TIME OF LOUIS XIV.
According to Alex. Guillaumot the apparatus consisted of a sort of railway on which the car was moved by manual labor. In the car, which was decorated with the royal colors, are seen seated the ladies and children of the king's household, while the king himself stands in the rear and seems to be directing operations. The remarkable peculiarity to which we would direct the attention of the reader is that this document shows that the car ran on rails very nearly like those used on the railways of the present time, and that a turn-table served for changing the direction to a right angle in order to place the car under the shelter of a small building. The picture which we reproduce, and the authenticity of which is certain, proves then that in the time of Louis XIV. our present railway turn-tables had been thought of and constructed--which is a historic fact worthy of being noted. It is well known that the use of railways in mines is of very ancient date, but we do not believe that there are on record any documents as precise as that of the Jeu de la Roulette as to the existence of turn-tables in former ages.