Automatic "clerk" - a prototype of the modern printer

• Automatic "clerk" - a prototype of the modern printer

Machine called "clerk" was invented by the watchmaker from Switzerland about 250 years ago. In appearance - an ordinary doll, pretty boy, but he could do miracles: he wrote the words on paper. In fact, performing the function of a modern printer. Robot Creator - Pierre Jaquet-Droz - cautiously showed his creation in the royal courts in Europe. The doll was so realistic that the master was often accused of witchcraft.

Automatic Automatic

"Clerk" - a wooden doll 70 cm in height, which is hidden inside a special mechanism that allows to automate its actions. Doll worked without electricity, and on the disk, placed inside it, was programmed procedure.


In fact, the doll can be called the first modern printer, and a prototype of artificial intelligence. Writer were written thousands of articles. Doll fully playable sequence of actions of man: first scribe dipped a quill in ink, then shook, not to put a blot, then - I started to display the words on the paper even handwriting. At the same time - he dropped his eyes down to "follow" the wrote. He sat at the mahogany desk of Louis XV, it was an elegant outfit, concealed mechanism, which consisted of 6000 parts.


The end of the XVIII century was a golden era for automatons or machines - machines that were set in motion independently. In Europe, there were many such dolls robots. Most often they are used for the amusement of the nobility, as exhibited in the windows of the big department stores. We talk about them the best minds of the era, putting forward theories about the possible presence of artificial intelligence.


No machine was not so perfect as a clerk in spite of the fact that the whole mechanism is housed in a tiny "body", the doll has worked perfectly, all the movements are synchronized.


Toy Demonstration machines.

Total Pierre Jaquet-Droz constructed a three dolls-machine in the period from 1767 to 1774: The clerk, draftsman and musician. His first watchmaker was located on a farm in Switzerland, he later moved to Paris, where machines demand was great and flourishing small family shop. In 1758 he presented his early works to the King of Spain. Among these works was the clock with the figure of a shepherd, who played the flute, and the dog figurine guarding the basket with apples. When the king offered to take one of the apples, the dog lunged at hand and barked so realistic that a real dog, which at that time was in the hall, began to respond to barking mechanical toy. The court did not believe that the whole thing in an automated mechanism, and began to accuse the master of witchcraft.


The clerk, draftsman and musician.

However, the prosecution did not frighten Pierre. He showed the king and his entourage and more new toys. Master has offered the Minister to apply to the machine, the shepherd, the question in Spanish shepherd did not react on time, but as soon as it sounded French, he replied instantly. Pierre for such antics appeared before the head of the Inquisition, and it really happened. I had to show and tell in detail how each mechanism. Fortunately, everything worked out well, and from France, Pierre returned to Paris the rich and famous.


The money received from the King of Spain, Jaquet-Droz established a profitable company that dealt exclusively with innovations in technology. He had the opportunity to engage in further ambitious projects, creating new machines.

Draftsman was the first machine of Pierre Jaquet-Droz. This doll was assembled from two thousand pieces. Using a pencil to draw a few pictures Draftsman: Portrait of King Louis XV, the dog (the figure also has an inscription), Cupid in a chariot drawn butterfly, as well as portraits of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. Musician playing the organ, really pushing the button, reproducing exactly the movement of the person.

All three figures are in the Museum of Art and History of Neuchâtel, they are still working with the same accuracy as that of two centuries ago