1911 – Miss Automaton – Belcher (American)

At this point in time I am unable to locate an image for Belcher’s Miss Automaton.

In the mean time, here are some interesting transcripts from period newspapers.

The Waterloo Evening Courier 30 Aug 1911p1 Belcher Automaton

AUTOMATON WALKS, TALKS AND WRITES

Boston. Mass, Aug. 30.-—John W. Belcher of Newton has created an automaton, a life sized figure of a woman 5 feet 8 inches tall. weighing 185 pounds, which can walk, talk, sing and write.
The automaton can talk hours without running down. It entertains friends of the Belcher family and its vocabulary appears to he inexhaustible. Seven years ago Belcher, who has previously spent about ten years in search of perpetual motion, began the construction of the figure. A phonograph arrangement allows of the figure talking and a gyroscope perfects the balance.

 

NewportDailyNews01091911p8BelcherMissAutomaton.pdf

MISS AUTOMATON
A Massachusetts Man Makes a Woman
Which Can Walk, Talk,
 Write and Sing.
[Boston despatch to New York Tribune.]

It walks, talks, writes, sings, smiles and performs similar and dissimilar "stunts," and still it isn’t human. No sleeping, eating or drinking is necessary to give it apparent life and action, yet in any except a close inspection it might pass for a mortal being Just turn the switch or press the button, all the wonderful motions are performed with ease, according to those who have seen it. Friends of John W. Belcher, of Newton, who have seen this mechanical wonder, are mystified, much to the gratification of its maker. That it does all these things, and does them with as much ease as is possible by mechanical means and with the assistance of hundreds of contrivances, all manipulated by electricity, is easy of belief when one talks with its builder, who does the whole trick at a distance of 40 feet. What is it? To the knowledge of its maker it is the first automaton ever made having the form of a woman.
The life-size figure stands 5 feet, 8 inches, weighing 185 pounds, is dressed in a red silk gown of the latest design can move lips, eyes, mouth, arms, legs and fingers, and is capable of many other seemingly impossible feats.
Nearly seven years ago Mr. Belcher, who had spent about ten years in search of perpetual motion, began the construction of the figure. As time went on, he found it necessary to perfect himself in practical electricity and mechanical engineering to build up the multiple parts of the body. Then, to solve the more complicated part of making the figure talk, sing. answer questions and "think," the inventor spent more hours in research.
The result is that his figure reproduces any word at a distance of 40 feet in very good tones. The phonograph arrangement he calls perfection. Other automatons there have been. but, in the opinion of Mr. Belcher, none has reached the perfection of his "Miss Automaton". Its building has been his hobby taking all his spare time, even Sundays and holidays.

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