I posted previously about Vaucanson's Duck Automaton. They have an entire page dedicated to this innovative man.
From the Site:
Both a technician and talented watchmaker, Jacques de Vaucanson made himself famous from England to Russia from his creation of sophisticated androids. He also created inventions such as the rubber pipe, the weaving loom, and the never ending chain.
Visit automates-anciens.com to learn more about Jacques de Vaucanson.