Victorian Robots and other Mechanical Men
January 10, 2005 6:32 PM   Subscribe

A history of robots in the Victorian era, featuring Boilerplate, the mechanical marvel of the 19th century.
posted by BuddhaInABucket (11 comments total)


Coincidence? Or part of the mounting robot conspiracy to kill all humans?
posted by cosmonik at 6:38 PM on January 10, 2005

posted by interrobang at 6:53 PM on January 10, 2005

dang it! I did a search for the URL and nothing showed up. It is from over three years ago, though. Am I forgiven?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 7:01 PM on January 10, 2005

See also here.

And for all those interested in old robots, allow me to recommend the book Living Dolls: A Magical History Of The Quest For Mechanical Life.

On preview: I see interrobang beat me to it. I can't speak for everyone, BuddhaInABucket, but for what it's worth, I forgive you.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:06 PM on January 10, 2005

It is from over three years ago, though.

*double clank*, from just over a year ago. But hey, why not forgive and forget? Isn't that what Christmas is all ab. . . oh, wait.
posted by LeLiLo at 7:10 PM on January 10, 2005

Wow, I host this site. I get to witness first hand the metafilter effect. Hooray!

[I'm logging your IPs]
posted by Laen at 7:20 PM on January 10, 2005

Victorian Era robots are so 19th century.
posted by Captaintripps at 7:30 PM on January 10, 2005

This site is hilarious and fabulous. This shot in particular looks straight off a Dr. Who DVD box but stands on it's own as well.
posted by juiceCake at 7:31 PM on January 10, 2005

Wonderful. In one of my classes I distribute a website evaluation form and send each student to a different hoax website without telling them what it is. Then they report back to the class. It is a fun project and leaves them deeply suspicious of everything on the web.
posted by LarryC at 7:49 PM on January 10, 2005

Here's another good article about Boilerplate and Paul Guinan.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:13 PM on January 10, 2005

I remember reading Living Dolls about a year and a half ago. Very interesting look on the connections between artificial life and the sometimes disturbing connection between inventors and their "creations". A quote from Edison in the book: "Saw a woman get into a car that was so tall and frightfully thin as well as dried up that my mechanical mind at once conceived the idea that it would be the proper thing to run a lancet into her arm and knee joints and insert automatic self-feeding oil cups to diminish creaking when she walked." Then there are "cheaters" like The Turk.
posted by Spacey at 6:10 AM on January 11, 2005

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