A young slim girl, the musician is regarded as the most beautiful automaton in the world, together with the dulcimer player of Kintzing (National School of Engineering and Technology in Paris). She plays on a type of organ with two stops of flutes, an independent instrument (different to modern automata, where the instrument plays and the fingers only follow the keys). You can see her breathing, how she turns her head from side to side, looking left, then right, how she lowers and raises her eyes, leans forward and straightens up once more. She emphasises her movements when she plays and finishes with a curtsey.
Together with her brothers, she too is a well-travelled lady.
The three Jaquet-Droz automata have been nomadic over a long period of time, guests of all the courts of Europe, visiting Paris, Brussels, London, Kazan (Russia), Madrid, Austria, Germany and Denmark. In 1906, the Neuchâtel Society of History and Archaeology acquired them for 75,000 gold francs and bestowed them to the Neuchâtel Museum of Art and History, where they have become masterpieces. They can be
recognition that would come as a result!
Behold the writer, the drawer and the musician. They are most certainly Neuchâtel’s most famous celebrities.
How advanced the writer is for his age! This three-year-old child sitting on a Louis-XV- style stool leans his left hand on a small mahogany table and writes with a goose feather quill in his right. While his eyes follow his movements, the quill draws full and loose letters. The writer can write any text that does not exceed forty letters or signs. When
Original orientation reveals the name Jacquet Droz.
This week's quiz phone was inspired by Win Powell.
If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10% discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books! Click here.
!-- Start Quantcast tag -->
Congratulations to Our Winners
Janice M. Sellers Arthur Hartwell Donna Jolley Nancy Nalle Mackenzie Margaret Paxton Tynan Peterson Winnifred Evans Carol Farrant Mike Dalton Jim Kiser Tom Collins Nelsen Spickard Cynthia Costigan Dennis Brann Jane Himmel Kelly Fetherlin Collier Smith Marcelle Comeau Dennis Brann
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner Team Fletcher
Comments from Our Readers
Skippy Scribbles and Susie Scribbles by the Wonderama Toy Company.
***** I had a very difficult time finding this!! I hope I got the right one because all the pictures I found had the doll writing with his right hand, yet this picture has him writing left handed. Maybe he is also the first ambidextrous doll?
Nancy Nalle Mackenzie
N.B. Actually I reversed the picture so that it would not be picked up by Tineye. If you looked more closely, you'd notice that the writing on the paper says "Jacquet Droz" in reverse. - Q. Gen.
***** With each photo you post, there is an immediate reaction when I first look at the photo. Sometimes that reaction leads straight to the answer. More often than not, it doesnt. This time I thought the face looked a lot like my childhood doll which stands in the corner of my living room. I may be getting along in years, but Im not old enough for my doll to be related. This mechanical doll was built by Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis and Jean-Frederic Leschot between 1768 and 1774. Why is it unusual? Well, the very fact that it still exists and works would seem unusual to me. The fact that it is actually doing what it appears to be doing is pretty amazing, too. There really is ink in the inkwell to the right of the tablet (in this reversed photo).
It, and others like it, have been called distant ancestors of the modern computer. That description doesn't work for me. The doll is not computing anything. It is just doing what it has been instructed to do. I would liken it to an early robot, one that doesn't have to make decisions based on variables.
N.B. I beg to disagree! It is a distant ancestor of the analog computer! That's how computers started, as mechanical gears and levers that could be programmed to do calculations. A computer doesn't think on its own, it does what it is told to do, only much faster and more efficiently than you can. -Q. Gen.
***** That video was much better than any I watched before on the subject, but it doesn’t change my position. I understand everything you’ve said. I’m reminded of a large, old, mechanical adding machine I once used. It was gears and levers that performed calculations based on which keys I pressed. It made a lot of noise, but the one thing it did was perform a calculation. Assuming the gears, levers and key-pressing fingers were all functioning properly, it always came up with the same answer it was programmed to provide. Without having to change any parts, the machine always knew that 1+3=4 because it had previously been told by way of how it was manufactured that that was the answer. Even an abacus has all of the parts in place to perform the same calculation.
The doll is a different story. Yes it is programmable. But in order for it to perform a second action one has to physically replace parts before the second action can take place. For it to go back and perform the original movement, parts once again have to be replaced. It calculates or computes nothing.
I’m stuck on the definition of a computer being something that computes rather than something that just provides movement. The doll is lovely, whatever anyone chooses to call it.
What about a machine that computes motion? Is that a computer? - Q. Gen.
***** This week quiz easy once I was able to translate writing. I flipped and rotated the image so as to translate the writing.
***** the fact that the fingers had exceptional wear led me from a doll to a mechanical display. This line of searching for moving dolls or manniquins let to the answer.
I think it's way cool how you noticed the wear on the fingers of the doll. While you were at it, did you also notice that the doll in the picture is left handed but the ones you probably ran across are right handed? You might also note what the doll is writing as a way to explain the difference in handedness. - Q. Gen.
***** Thanks for the videoclip. Yes programmable computer seems like a better choice. But now I want a Susie Scriibbles! I trust you saw the movie, "Hugo"? What a delight.
***** The DVD about this guy and his androids must be amazing!! The trailer is fascinating! The Terminator would be a future example, and the computer driven robots as in the auto industry would perhaps be modern-day equivalents!
***** Certainly the automata of the 18th century were precursors of today’s computers, but they were meant as toys rather than as tools.
Thanks for the link to Chonday. Have you seen this one: www.chonday. com/Videos/seorcroatia1? I’ve been to Zadar and spent an evening at the sea organ. The solar installation wasn’t there then. Looks interesting.
***** American Joe Jones (1934-1993) built an large orchestra-like music machine which performed during daylight hours by solar power.
***** I must admit another serendipity moment. Another e-mail friend sent me the video so there fore I didn’t do a lot of research to find the answer. Is that cheating???
It is very cool.
***** The reason we thought the answer could be Kirsi Phyhonen & Audrey Marney was because of the photo with one of them with the feather pen - so much like the mechanical doll by Pierre Jaquet-Droz. Fun and more fun!!!!!!!!! We always learn something with each one of the fabulous weekly quizzes!!!!!!!!!!
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner Team Fletcher
***** So aside from suggesting a printer, a robot, and a modern day art form, I must suggest something that is used in advertisement, but is not what is being advertised.... like the Energizer Bunny?
***** I had never heard of these old humoid robots. This is really incredible and an excellent example of the intelligence of its creators! Talk about brain power! I would say the modern day counterpart is "Atlas"; a humanoid robot. :)
***** The DVD about this guy and his androids must be amazing!! The trailer is fascinating! The Terminator would be a future example, and the computer driven robots as in the auto industry would perhaps be modern-day equivalents! www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr0e_WsjkvY
I didn't include an explanation of how I solved it with my response but you're right - I noticed the writing, flipped the image so I was able to read it once I zoomed in and searched on the name Jacquet Droz.
Another very nice quiz this week. Absolutely amazing, would love to see them working for real!
1. Jaquet Droz, an 18th century Swiss watchmaker.
2. It is an automaton designed to dip its pen in an inkwell and write via a series of miniature cams.
3. The programmable computer.
Modern Day Automata submitted by the Quizmasters
In asking the third question, about the modern-day counterpart of the Jacquet Droz automata, I had the "programmable computer" in mind. The Quizmasters, out to break the mold, submitted many interesting alternative answers:
The modern day counterpart to these mechanical dolls are Kirsi Phyhonen & Audrey Marney who are live models who act like mechanical dolls; they are photographed by Tim Walker. AMAZING!!!!!!!!
Modern-day automata include the works of Paul Spooner, Keith Newstead and Rob Higgs [and others] on display at the Caberet Mechanical Theatre in Greenwich,, UK, and Kimberly Park in Falmouth, Cornwall, UK. (See www.cabaret.co.uk/)
The Jaquet-Droz automata, created between 1768 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis and Jean-Frédéric Leschot, are not only wonders of precision, to be admired as masterpieces. These automata from La-Chaux-de-Fonds show the genius of a region, its creativity, its expertise, its future in the watch-making industry and micro technologies and the international
he changes line and dips the quill into the inkpot, his facial expression follows his movements.
The draftsman is even more spectacular than the writer, although his mechanism is less complicated. Three different sets of cams, dating from construction, allow the child to produce four drawings because the portrait of Louis XV and “My Pooch” are on the same cams.
admired in action on the first Sunday of every month at 2p.m., 3p.m. and 4p.m. or by pre-arrangement for groups.