The Incredible Writing Automaton (0)

Thursday, January 18, 2007 by , under , ,

I just had to show this to you, folks, as I find it truly amazing: a fully-functional, quill-writing automaton dating from the 18th century -- 1772, to be precise.

Two small keys are used to wind-up the automaton which, once started, can write any pre-programmed sentence upon a velin sheet. It dips its feather in the inkwell, shakes it twice with incredible human-like movement, and actually forms letters better than I could using a quill. His eyes actually follow what is being written, and his head turns as he dips the quill again.

From fogozanos.blogspot.com: "The Writer is able to write any custom text up to 40 letters long. The text is coded on a wheel where characters are selected one by one. According to Wikipedia, some authors explain that this automaton is a forerunner of the computers. This statement is certainly justified since the machine is composed of a "program" and a "memory". The "program" is a wheel which makes it possible to choose the words the android is to write, and the "memory", which is made up by a set of cams, make it possible to form the letters. However, other authors think The Writer works more like a music box than like a computer."

Amazing. (Thanks, Boingboing and Fogozanos!)





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