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Marie-Antoinette’s Android

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posted on Oct, 2 2011 @ 08:12 PM
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Sometimes it isn't the latest greatest invention that captivates, but rather, a device that was built a very long time ago that seems to be out of place because it's so far ahead of it's time.

The amount of engineering and precision that went into this mechanical device is nothing short of amazing. It was considered an "android" in its day, hence the title. Built in 1784, not only does it play 8 unique songs, but the animated 'android' moves in unison, hitting the notes as they are played by the device.





This famous android was a collaborative effort by two Germans. Clockmaker Peter Kintzing created the mechanism and joiner David Roentgen crafted the cabinet; the dress dates from the 19th century. Automatons were in circulation and aroused much curiosity. Roentgen probably sent the tympanum to the French court and Marie-Antoinette bought it in 1784. The queen, aware of its perfection and scientific interest, had it deposited in the Academy of Sciences cabinet in 1785. The tympanum is a musical instrument that plays eight tunes when the female android strikes the 46 strings with two little hammers. Tradition has it that she is a depiction of Marie-Antoinette.



The mechanism, hidden beneath the dress inside the stool on which the player sits, consists of a spring motor and a brass cylinder with 16 cams that, driven by levers, activate the arms' joints and the small spikes dictating the hammers' movement.



(Source)
edit on 2-10-2011 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-10-2011 by v1rtu0s0 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by v1rtu0s0
 

And when I read the title I thought it was going to be an ancient cellphone!


That engineering is fantastic. It makes me wonder how many engineers today are capable of doing that. Nowadays they have a lot of help from CAD/Computer graphics, but back then you couldn't try something out in the computer before you built it so I think it was a lot more challenging to do without computers.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by v1rtu0s0
 


There was quite a fad for these "automaton's"back in the 17th and 18th centuries,but they actually began many years earlier.
The ancient chinese,and Leonardo da vinci made similar things back in the day.
Here are a couple of links you may enjoy:

www.darkroastedblend.com...

cabinet-of-wonders.blogspot.com...

And check this out from approx 1000 BC!!!


In ancient China, a curious account on automata is found in the Lie Zi text, written in the 3rd century BC. Within it there is a description of a much earlier encounter between King Mu of Zhou (1023-957 BC) and a mechanical engineer known as Yan Shi, an 'artificer'. The latter proudly presented the king with a life-size, human-shaped figure of his mechanical handiwork (Wade-Giles spelling):

The king stared at the figure in astonishment. It walked with rapid strides, moving its head up and down, so that anyone would have taken it for a live human being. The artificer touched its chin, and it began singing, perfectly in tune. He touched its hand, and it began posturing, keeping perfect time...
As the performance was drawing to an end, the robot winked its eye and made advances to the ladies in attendance, whereupon the king became incensed and would have had Yen Shih [Yan Shi] executed on the spot had not the latter, in mortal fear, instantly taken the robot to pieces to let him see what it really was. And, indeed, it turned out to be only a construction of leather, wood, glue and lacquer, variously coloured white, black, red and blue. Examining it closely, the king found all the internal organs complete—liver, gall, heart, lungs, spleen, kidneys, stomach and intestines; and over these again, muscles, bones and limbs with their joints, skin, teeth and hair, all of them artificial...
The king tried the effect of taking away the heart, and found that the mouth could no longer speak; he took away the liver and the eyes could no longer see; he took away the kidneys and the legs lost their power of locomotion. The king was delighted

en.wikipedia.org...

Pretty amazing huh?
Its funny-we see ourselves as the most intelligent humans on the planet,with all the newest ideas-but in actual fact many of our "modern" ideas are just rehashed ideas from antiquity.



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by Silcone Synapse
 


Yes, thanks for the information, wonderful post!


I really feel 99% of the population has lost touch with their creative abilities...



posted on Oct, 3 2011 @ 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by Arbitrageur
reply to post by v1rtu0s0
 

And when I read the title I thought it was going to be an ancient cellphone!


That engineering is fantastic. It makes me wonder how many engineers today are capable of doing that. Nowadays they have a lot of help from CAD/Computer graphics, but back then you couldn't try something out in the computer before you built it so I think it was a lot more challenging to do without computers.


LOL, ancient cell phone.... well, it actually shouldn't suprise an ATS member.


Just imagine how hard it would be to design something so unique in the 1700's.



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