Radio Police Automaton

Here's a miraculous Radio Police Automaton from the May, 1924 issue of Hugo Gernsback's Science and Invention. It will be useful for dispersing mobs, and for war. Note the built-in tear-gas tank. Also the "loud-speaker used to shout orders to the mob." Mr Gernsback notes, "They will be well-nigh irresistible."

There's something decidedly pre-Ewok about this design and the bold claims of irresistibility.

Gernsback Radio Police Automaton (via Wil Wheaton)


  1. Irresistible until some young punk figures out how to trip them up with a harpoon and line…

    What fascinates me about a lot of these old designs is the use of lights for eyes as though that was enough to give them vision (maybe not the case here as they’re radio controlled but still…)

    1. Probably hand-lettered.  Did you know people used to get paid to do that, back in the 20th Century?

      1. Actually that really does look like Comic Sans, and the glyphs are consistent enough to suggest it wasn’t hand lettered.

        I hope this doesn’t mean it’s fake, and instead we’ve uncovered an unusual past to comic sans, a font inspired by a style that was created after this poster was made.

        EDIT: Must be restoration, I hope the use of comic sans was tongue in cheek.

  2. Futurama!  I can totally see this guy/gal having a beer and a smoke with Bender. Then he/she pee’s teargas and ruins the party. 

    1.  …and, of course, the experts convincingly believe they’ve found proto-Bender on the cover of an issue of “Startling Comics” #49  but i don’t know if Gernsback was involved with that fine publication or not.

    1.  “Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit. I’m a Securitron, RobCo security model 2060-B. If you see any of my brothers tell them Victor says howdy.”

  3. See the weapon on the end of the arm? It is obviously a perpetual motion machine. That robot truly is unstoppable.

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