Posts Tagged ‘Frank R. Paul’

1928 – “The Psychophonic Nurse” (Fiction) – David H. Keller (American)

“The Psychophonic Nurse”, by David H. Keller. Published in Amazing Stories, 1928

Illustration by Frank R. Paul.

The Psychophonic Nurse
A child-care robot – a nanny bot.

“I had her made by the Eastinghouse Electric Company. You see, she’s just a machine nurse, but as she doesn’t eat anything, is on duty twenty-four hours a day, and draws no salary, she’s cheap at the price I paid.”

“…let me show you how she works. She’s made of a combination of springs, levers, acoustic intruments, and by means of tubes such as are used in the radio, she’s very sensitive to sounds. She’s connected to the house current by a long, flexible cord, which supplies her with the necessary energy. To simplify matters, I had the orders put into numbers instead of sentences. One means that the baby is to be fed; seven that she’s to be changed…”

“…When I ordered this machine … I bought a phonograph with clock attachment. It will run for twenty-four hours without attention. Then I had a baby doctor work out a twenty-four hour programme of infant activity for different ages. Our baby is about two months old. You put this phonograph with the two-month record on it in the nursery… At definite periods of the twenty-four hours the phonograph will call out a number and the nurse will do what is necessary…

Article sourced from here.

[RH – one wonders how long baby would be in soiled daipers before the appropriate ‘number’ came up?]

The above fictional robot was inspired by the then new and wonderful Westinghouse Televox of 1927, which operated in s similar fashion.


See other early Domestic Service Robots here.


1960 – “Homobile” Lunar Rover – Hugo Gernsback (American)

In 1960, the indefatigable Gernsback came out with another lunar rover design. He called it the “Homobile.” It had a pressurized cabin mounted on tracks and powered by electricity from fuel cells, with a leg-powered generator as an alternate source of energy. The cabin also had a pair of manipulator arms.

Source:Originally from “1961 Forecast”, 1960 pp8-11 by Hugo Gernsback.


Similar illustrations from an early book of space travel and a Sci-fi magazine.

1953PremiereCroisiereSurLaLune07-x640

Illustration from Première Croisière Sur La Lune by Fletcher Pratt, 1952.

life_on_jupiter-frank-r-paul-1940-x640

Illustration by Frank R. Paul, Fantastic Adventure, 1940.


See other early Space Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar Robots here.


1944 – Betelgeuse Walking Cities – Frank R. Paul (American)

Amazing Stories, September 1944

Title: Stories of the Stars: Betelgeuse, in Orion
Author: Morris J. Steele
Year: 1944
Variant Title of: Stories of the Stars: Betelgeuse in Orion (by uncredited )

The back covers of 'Amazing Stories' featured fanciful illustrations of life on far-off worlds.

"This weird scene on a planet of the giant sun, Betelgeuse, in Orion, is based on scientific theory."

A Frank R. Paul cover.  

These giant walking habitats would cover great distances with their immense strides. The bird-like reverse bending of the knee and clawed feet offering spread of load and suspension is also interesting, as is the folding of the legs when resting on the ground.