Maillardet’s Automaton 1800 “Draughtsman-Writer” (Philadelphia)

It is currently on display at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s too fragile to operate so videos near the exhibit show it in action.

https://www.fi.edu/history-automaton

This Automaton, known as the “Draughtsman-Writer” was built by Henri Maillardet, a Swiss mechanician of the 18th century who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms. It is believed that Maillardet built this extraordinary Automaton around 1800 and it has the largest “memory” of any such machine ever constructed—four drawings and three poems (two in French and one in English).

Automata, such as Maillardet’s Automaton, demonstrated mankind’s efforts to imitate life by mechanical means—and are fascinating examples of the intersection of art and science.