Friday, January 25, 2008

Madame Radora Wireless "Automaton"

This interesting bit of history comes to us via the Modern Mechanix blog. Pictured here is a radio-controlled fortune teller from 1924. I think this might fall under the category of "faux automaton".

From the article:

Reading Thoughts by Radio

Can thoughts be read by radio? "Madam Radora" seems to prove that they can. Madam is not a human being, but a life-size automaton shown at the Permanent Radio Fair in New York. Her "thoughts" and movements are controlled entirely by wireless; no wires of any kind are attached to the table whereon she rests, and a liberal reward is promised the person who can prove that this is not true. Persons desiring to ask questions simply stand before "Madam Radora" with their hands resting on a special pedestal carrying a number of electrical contacts. Radora then bends over her crystal, and answers the questions put to her in a clear, feminine voice.

See the article in it's print form at the Modern Mechanix site.

Found via BoingBoing Gadgets.

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