1922 – Madam Radora – (American)
Reading Thoughts by Radio (Source: Popular Mechanics – May, 1924)
Can thoughts be read by radio? “Madam Radora” seems to prove that they can. Madam is not a human being, but a life-size automaton shown at the Permanent Radio Fair in New York. Her “thoughts” and movements are controlled entirely by wireless; no wires of any kind are attached to the table whereon she rests, and a liberal reward is promised the person who can prove that this is not true. Persons desiring to ask questions simply stand before “Madam Radora” with their hands resting on a special pedestal carrying a number of electrical contacts. Radora then bends over her crystal, and answers the questions put to her in a clear, feminine voice.
(Source: Chapuis, Alfred and Edmond Droz; Automata: A Historical and Technological Study. Translated by Alec Reid. Neuchatel (Switzerland) 1958
One of these mechanical creatures called " the chatterbox " talked very well, but it was worked by a different system which Papp describes as follows : 1
" Sitting in her armchair, this lady answers any questions put to her by her visitors, whereas all the other figures of this type have a vocabulary which is limited by the number of discs that can be stored inside
their chests. This untiring gossip, however, is helped by a human being placed in the wings, to whom she is connected by two wires. This ' assistant' operates a kind of piano with fifty keys. Each of these sets in motion a fragment of sound film corresponding to one of the most frequently used syllables in the English language. When the question has been asked, the operator first writes down his answer and then presses the keys of the appropriate syllables one after the other. In this way he arranges next to each other corresponding strips of sound film and transmits, through a loud-speaker concealed in the mechanical lady's head, the answer which has been requested.
" Just as by pressing down the keys of a typewriter the letters forming the words are written on the paper one by one, so the series of selected syllables make up a complete sentence."
Comparing this robot woman with the musician of Jaquet-Droz, a journalist bluntly stated that the former " had not one hundredth part of the grace of the smiling figure in the museum at Neuchâtel."
1. French magazine Je Sais Tout Feb 1939
(Source: San Antonio Evening News 07 Nov 1922 p9)
LIFELESS PSYCHIC IS LATE RADIO MYSTERY
Can thoughts be read by radio? Sir Arthur Conan Doyle says it is possible, and his theory would seem to be proven by Madame Radora, a lifeless radio psychic, at the Permanent Radio Fair in the red room of tbe Hotel Imperial at New York City.
Madame Radora is not a human being, but a life-sized automaton whose movements and thoughts are carried to her on the wings of the electro-magnetic wave. No wires of any kind are attached to her or the table upon
which she rests, and a reward of $1,000 awaits the person who can prove that this is not true.
Persons desiring to ask questions simply stand before her with their hands resting upon a special pedestal carrying a number of electrical contacts. Radora then bends over a crystal and answers their questions in a clear feminine voice.