If it Craps Like A Duck: The Thrills of 1742 Automata

This 1742 handbill for an exhibit of automata describes three mechanical devices imitating life. The first represents a man playing a German flute, the second, a man playing the pipe and tabor. As for the third:

Another news cutting, issued on the day in question, clarifies—by the sheer number of lines devoted to each subject—what sensation-seekers were demanding most:

The German Flute gets a passing mention, as do the tabor and pipe, but the star of the show will be a robotic duck, doing its best to convincingly eat, groom, and shit onstage.


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