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March 9, 2015 AT 7:00 am

‘The Writer” Automaton: A distant ancestor of the modern programmable computer

Thanks to Chuck for sending in this great post from Chonday.com.

A 240 year old doll that can write, a clockwork creation by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, a Swiss watchmaker. The doll is able to write any custom text up to 40 letters long, and it uses a goose feather to write, which he inks from time to time, including a shake of the wrist to prevent ink from spilling. His eyes follow the text being written, and the head moves when he takes some ink. You can view this doll in person at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland.

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