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The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Posts tagged Machine:

Tipu’s Tiger

'Tipu's Tiger' is an awesome, life-size beast of carved and painted wood, seen in the act of devouring a prostrate European in the costume of the 1790s. It has cast a spell over generations of admirers since 1808, when it was first displayed in the East India Company's museum. Concealed in the bodywork is a mechanical pipe-organ with several parts, all operated simultaneously by a crank-handle emerging from the tiger’s shoulder. Turning the handle pumps … bellows and controls the air-flow to simulate the growls of the tiger and cries of the victim.

Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in India for whom the automaton was built, identified himself with tigers; his personal epithet was ‘The Tiger of Mysore,’ his soldiers were dressed in ‘tyger’ jackets, his personal symbol invoked a tiger’s face through clever use of calligraphy and the tiger motif is visible on his throne, and other objects in his personal possession [Source]. The death of a young Englishman named Munro carried off by a man-eating tiger in 1792 was the inspiration … Munro was the son of Sir Hector Munro, one of the East India Company’s generals. His death was seen by [Tipu] … as divine retribution against the British invaders [Source - see also documentary].

(Source: vam.ac.uk)

The Ethiopian Caterpillar
Thought to date back as far as 1820, this incredible pre-electronic mechanical robot was made by Swiss watchmaker Henri Maillardet for sale to aristocratic Chinese buyers. The rare gold, enamel, jewel and pearl-set automaton mimics the gracious undulating caterpillar’s crawl with a clockwork powered mechanism which drives a pair of gilt-metal knurled wheels.
The body is realistically designed to represent a caterpillar comprising eleven jointed ring segments, framed by seed pearls, and decorated with translucent red enamel over an engine-turned ground, studded overall with gold-set rubies, turquoise, emeralds,and diamonds. The underside is decorated with champlevé black enamel. When the automaton movement is engaged, the caterpillar crawls realistically, its body moving up and down simulating the undulations of a caterpillar by means of a set of gilt-metal knurled wheels. The automata work is composed of a barrel, cam and two leavers all working together to create the crawling motion.
Born 1745, Maillardet was a Swiss mechanician who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms, including various automata, including a famous set depicting magicians and others which could write in French and English. When one was presented to Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute in 1928 it was of unknown origin; but once restored to working order, the robot itself provided the answer by penning the words ‘written by the automaton of Maillardet’.
You can watch a video of the caterpillar in action here.

The Ethiopian Caterpillar

Thought to date back as far as 1820, this incredible pre-electronic mechanical robot was made by Swiss watchmaker Henri Maillardet for sale to aristocratic Chinese buyers. The rare gold, enamel, jewel and pearl-set automaton mimics the gracious undulating caterpillar’s crawl with a clockwork powered mechanism which drives a pair of gilt-metal knurled wheels.

The body is realistically designed to represent a caterpillar comprising eleven jointed ring segments, framed by seed pearls, and decorated with translucent red enamel over an engine-turned ground, studded overall with gold-set rubies, turquoise, emeralds,and diamonds. The underside is decorated with champlevé black enamel. When the automaton movement is engaged, the caterpillar crawls realistically, its body moving up and down simulating the undulations of a caterpillar by means of a set of gilt-metal knurled wheels. The automata work is composed of a barrel, cam and two leavers all working together to create the crawling motion.

Born 1745, Maillardet was a Swiss mechanician who worked in London producing clocks and other mechanisms, including various automata, including a famous set depicting magicians and others which could write in French and English. When one was presented to Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute in 1928 it was of unknown origin; but once restored to working order, the robot itself provided the answer by penning the words ‘written by the automaton of Maillardet’.

You can watch a video of the caterpillar in action here.

MARIE ANTOINETTE’S ANDROID, 1784

‘La Joueuse de tympanon is a dulcimer playing android. It was presented at Versailles in 1784 and bought by Marie Antoinette. It is believed that the android’s hair is that of the Queen.’

VIDEO.

(Source: retronaut.co)

It turns out there actually were vibrators before electricity, industrialization and Victorian taboo combined to create the precursors to the motorized gadgets we know today. The first identifiable model was a hand-crank device made in 1734, believe it or not.
The notion that women could be relieved of the illness of “hysteria” by genital manipulation to the point of orgasm, pardon me, I mean “paroxysm”, had been current in medical circles since Galen in the 2nd century. It just took a few hundreds of years for motors to be involved.

According to Dr. Maines, all vibrators are just inefficient motors. “All motors vibrate. If you make a motor that’s especially sloppy, it’ll vibrate more. That’s the principle behind the vibrator: a very sloppy motor that’s designed to vibrate.” An efficient motor, such as the one that runs your fridge, would make for a seriously crappy vibrator. But the Manipulator, which was essentially an inefficient steam engine with a dildo attached to it, did the job swimmingly.
One of the first mechanical vibrators was the steam-powered Manipulator … invented by Dr. George Taylor in 1869. This monster machine hid its engine in another room with the apparatus sticking through the wall.

It turns out there actually were vibrators before electricity, industrialization and Victorian taboo combined to create the precursors to the motorized gadgets we know today. The first identifiable model was a hand-crank device made in 1734, believe it or not.

The notion that women could be relieved of the illness of “hysteria” by genital manipulation to the point of orgasm, pardon me, I mean “paroxysm”, had been current in medical circles since Galen in the 2nd century. It just took a few hundreds of years for motors to be involved.

According to Dr. Maines, all vibrators are just inefficient motors. “All motors vibrate. If you make a motor that’s especially sloppy, it’ll vibrate more. That’s the principle behind the vibrator: a very sloppy motor that’s designed to vibrate.” An efficient motor, such as the one that runs your fridge, would make for a seriously crappy vibrator. But the Manipulator, which was essentially an inefficient steam engine with a dildo attached to it, did the job swimmingly.

One of the first mechanical vibrators was the steam-powered Manipulator … invented by Dr. George Taylor in 1869. This monster machine hid its engine in another room with the apparatus sticking through the wall.

"without…the duck of Vaucanson, you will have nothing to remind you of the glory of France.” - Voltaire.

The Canard DigérateurDigesting Duck, or Vaucanson Duck was an automaton in the form of a duck, created by Jacques de Vaucanson in 1739. The mechanical duck appeared to have the ability to eat kernels of grain, and to metabolize and defecate them. While the duck did not actually have the ability to do this—the food was collected in one inner container, and the pre-stored feces was ‘produced’ from a second, so that no actual digestion took place—Vaucanson hoped that a truly digesting automaton could one day be designed.

The first image above shows the original Digesting Duck whilst the second is an illustration of how it was mistakenly thought to have worked.

(Source: Wikipedia)