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During the 18th century, people were in a state of wonder over mechanism. The first complex machines produced by man were called "automata." The greatest and most fascinating mechanisms were those that could do things in imitation of living creatures. This Automaton, known as the "Draughtsman-Writer," is one such machine.
Pineapple Grown in Sir Matthew Decker's Garden at Richmond, Surrey, 1720, by Theodorus Netscher The Fitzwilliam Museum via BBC paintings
The Queen’s Android Marie-Antoinette’s dulcimer player, forerunner of the robot. Date: 1784, Paris, musée des Arts et Métiers This famous android was a collaborative effort by two Germans. Clockmaker Peter Kintzing created the mechanism and joiner David Roentgen crafted the cabinet; the dress dates from the 19th century. Automatons were in circulation and aroused much curiosity.