Programmable, 19th century, 6,000-piece automaton: the Writer

The Writer is a 240-year-old automaton in the form of a boy; created by a Swiss clockmaker, he has about 6,000 parts and is programmable. By loading stacks of metal cards, the Writer could be coaxed into writing different letters with a pen that it dipped into an inkwell; the cards also specified the pressure of the pen. The BBC Four documentary Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams produced this beautiful video of the Writer in motion, narrated by Simon Schaffer.

The Writer (via Colossal)

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