60,000 pieces, 240 years old. Jaquet-Droz's dolls still write, draw, and play music

KorbenDallas

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There had to be something in the water in the 18th century. A whole lot of people acquired some amazing skills out of, what seems, nowhere. Another one of these brilliant individuals was Pierre Jaquet-Droz. He was born on July 28, 1721, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, in Canton Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He was a watchmaker who lived in Paris, London, and Geneva, where he designed and built animated dolls, or automata, to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds.

Once again we have a big question mark next to his education. He was supposed to become a clergyman, so he studied theology and philosophy. But from nowhere came affinity for science and mechanics. And as we know, the times, somehow, were very conducive to designing and building some "ahead of its time" mechanisms like the Kulibin's Egg Clock and the Peacock Clock. I personally think the technology was at a totally different level than we are lead to believe. But naturally we are forced to believe that some guys were simply light years ahead of the regular folk those days. The same regular folk, you know, who just a few years earlier were peeing and defecating behind a curtain at the Versailles Palace.

Pierre Jaquet-Droz
Pierre_Jaquet-Droz,_1758.jpg

Sorry, got sidetracked. So, Jaquet-Droz was introduced to the father and son Jean and Daniel Bernoulli, who were famous mathematicians and physicists. The Bernoullis were into the construction of automatons. Supposedly they influenced Jaquet-Droz’s curiosity about such devices. He was also influenced by Josué Robert, who built clocks and watches the King of Prussia, Frederick William I. Apparently Robert somehow managed to guide Jaquet-Droz without actually training him.

In 1741 he began a seven-year apprenticeship in the field of clockmaking. As the story goes he was very good at his craft. With time he got bored with making clocks and moved on to automatons. He created a few singing-bird mechanisms that could move and sing just like real birds. By 1750 he became one of the leading makers of such mechanisms. The reason I am not going into the complexity of those singing bird mechanisms is because what he made later dwarfs anything you can imagine. His story is pretty interesting. He sold six of his creations to the Spanish Crown and was paid 2,000 gold pistoles. In the process he clearly lucked out with the Spanish Inquision.
Jaquet-Droz was suspected of sorcery and forced to reveal the automata’s workings to the Grand Inquisitor. Another account claims that the automata were imprisoned briefly while the authorities tried to figure out how they worked. Yet another tale tells of a group of monks who came to see the devices in the Spanish court. When the automata were activated, the monks were overwhelmed with wonder and prostrated themselves in prayer.
You can read upon the official version of his life and achievements here.

Between 1768 and 1774 The Jaquet-Droz automata was created. It consisted of three doll automata built between 1768 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis, and Jean-Frédéric Leschot: the musician, the draughtsman and the writer. The dolls are still functional, and can be seen at the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire of Neuchâtel, in Switzerland. - (wikipedia)

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  • The musician is modeled as a female organ player. The music is not recorded or played by a musical box: the doll plays a genuine, custom-built instrument by pressing the keys with her fingers. Movements of her chest show her "breathing", and she follows her fingers with her head and eyes. The automaton also makes some of the movements that a real player would do, such as balancing the torso.
  • The draughtsman is modeled as a young child, and is capable of drawing four different images: a portrait of Louis XV, a royal couple (believed to be Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI), a dog with "Mon toutou" ("my doggy") written beside it, and a scene of Cupid driving a chariot pulled by a butterfly. The draughtsman works by using a system of cams that code the movements of the hand in two dimensions, plus one to lift the pencil. The automaton also moves on his chair, and he periodically blows on the pencil to remove dust.
800px-Automates-Jaquet-Droz-drawings.jpg
Two of the drawings that can
be made by the draughtsman

  • The writer is the most complex of the three automata. Using a system similar to the one used for the draughtsman for each letter, he is able to write any custom text up to 40 letters long (the text is rarely changed; one of the latest instances was in honor of president François Mitterrand when he toured the city). The text is coded on a wheel where characters are selected one by one. He uses a goose feather to write, which he inks from time to time, including a shake of the wrist to prevent ink from spilling. His eyes follow the text being written, and his head moves when he takes some ink.
And this writer is the one I wanted to talk about. Don't get me wrong, I do not think that any of the other dolls, or singing birds could have been created within the framework of the commonly known 18th century education and technology. But this Writer is just something.

First of all please refer to the article where I touched up on the today's clockmaker education and 1750's tools: Kulibin's egg-shaped clock presented to Catherine II in 1769.

The Writer, Ladies and Gentlemen!

automata_doll_1.gif
automata_doll_2.gif

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With some 6,000 parts, it can be programmed to reproduce any message of up to 40 characters. In the upper half of the Writer’s body is a long vertical cylinder, made up of three sets of 40 cams. One set of cams controls the horizontal movements, another the vertical movements, and a third the amount of pressure the Writer applies to the paper, thus enabling it to make both light and heavy strokes, just like in real human script. Beneath the vertical cylinder, the second part of the mechanism incorporates a disk with 40 spaces on it, so that the order of characters can be selected for the Writer’s message. The automaton can move its head and eyes as it com- poses, and it is able to compensate for changes in distance between the figure and the desk so that the letters remain evenly spaced. Over time the device has been programmed to write different messages, which have included “Les automates Jaquet Droz à Neuchâtel” and, ironically, “I think therefore I am.” - source

Common trait followed: from approximately 1750 to 1800 we have tons of this complicated mechanisms that probably only a few masters of today would be able to recreate. Then everything stops. The skill gets lost. Official explanation is degradingly dull, "As the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era changed the face of Europe, interest in these luxuries ebbed."

My summary: I will just copy and paste the exact same thing I wrote for Kulibin's clock. Were such items built 250 years ago? Quite possible they were. But they were built by the people who had institutional knowledge of constructing things like this. They had proper tools and adequate education for building items of comparable qualities. They were fairly comparably advanced human civilization which was annihilated a few hundred years ago. In some areas hey might have been even more advanced than ours. I will keep on providing circumstantial evidence of the existence of such a civilization.

Did Jaquet-Droz build these dolls? If he did, he belonged to that civilization. Or may be his assignment in history is to be the creator of these beautiful masterpieces.
 
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PiotrRasputin

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#2
Without fully buying into any set theory about how, or why this happened, it cant be denied that this is crazy to believe this level of knowledge was around so long ago.

Are there other items from this time frame with similar complexities, or was he one of a kind?
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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It really gives credence to the term Illuminati. Those illuminated to hidden knowledge. Honestly to me these are far more spectacular than computers even because , as far as we know, there was no industrial type products to easily order and manufacture parts.
Yup. Can you imagine how much knowledge is hidden within the Vatican vaults? Some say that their subterranean dungeons are being guarded better than Fort Knox.
 

Onthebit

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#7
I postulated to a friend the other day that maybe Tesla brought well known tech across the ocean. Something about Electric streetlights and hair driers being available in Russia at a time when harnessing electricity hadn't been invented yet in the west. Or shall I say they hadn't figured out how to make us dependant enough to pay for it through the nose.....
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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I postulated to a friend the other day that maybe Tesla brought well known tech across the ocean. Something about Electric streetlights and hair driers being available in Russia at a time when harnessing electricity hadn't been invented yet in the west. Or shall I say they hadn't figured out how to make us dependant enough to pay for it through the nose.....
Yeah Tesla was a bizarre character for sure. Never drew any blueprints for his inventions, was working with atmospheric electricity. Then again his weird connection with the Trump family.

I think there is way more to it, and I will try to elaborate on it later. I have a few reasons to believe that atmospheric pressure changed drastically some time before walking canes came into fashion. Prior to it atmospheric wireless electricity was not such stranger to this world. Well, and Tesla was possibly just trying to recreate. I don't know obviously but based on some circumstantial evidence :) ...
 

humanoidlord

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#9
the ancients had good knowledge of robotics, wich we only regained in the 20nth century
 

humanoidlord

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#11
Wonder where they acquired that knowledge, and why it was lost. I think I have an idea, but it contradicts the education I received.
aliens maybe?
its hard to believe that knowledge just appeared out of nowhere
note that modern ufos arent alien but interdimensional, just like the great jacques vallee once said
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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aliens maybe?
its hard to believe that knowledge just appeared out of nowhere
note that modern ufos arent alien but interdimensional, just like the great jacques vallee once said
Could be anything. I think this knowledge belonged to the same people who built all those buildings looking like Pantheon. Only dates are seriously off.
 

humanoidlord

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#15
Ok firstly this theme of automata built by questionable people is very common. James cox's silver swan. Plays for 40 seconds, plays music and snatches up fish from the pond in front.

makes me wonder where they got that technology
Secondly that guy is totally a freemason... Not to be trusted.
why not? freemasons are the resistance angaist the NWO!
all the "evil" stuff about them are lies spread by disinfo agents, the part about they being "satanic" dates back to when they took the church lands for them in 1700's (or so the "history" goes ;)), i am catholic and i think its time for the curch to forget this (probally faked) history and move to greener pastures
 

whitewave

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#18
Yeah Tesla was a bizarre character for sure. Never drew any blueprints for his inventions, was working with atmospheric electricity. Then again his weird connection with the Trump family.
What's this about?
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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#19
What's this about?
When Tesla died Donald Trump's uncle John G. Trump collected Tesla's papers and determined there was nothing interesting in there.

John G. Trump’s analysis of Tesla’s papers concluded that:
  • Tesla’s “thoughts and efforts during at least the past 15 years were primarily of a speculative, philosophical, and somewhat promotional character,” but “did not include new, sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.”
Nikola Tesla's surprising connection to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
 
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