This spooky antique is one of the oldest computers in the world. While it doesn’t run on electricity, and it doesn’t have gigabytes of memory, it can still be properly programmed to write you a personalized letter.
Described as one of the world’s most astonishing surviving automatons, this little boy was created by the genius Swiss inventor Pieree Jaquet-Droz sometime between 1768 and 1774. A master of technology, he figured out a way to “program” this little boy to write 40-character-long letters saying whatever you wished.
Using special blocks assigned to individual mechanical cams, many people consider this machine to be an ancient ancestor of our modern computers. Programable and with an actual memory input, this creepy character still manages to work even though he’s over 240 years old!
His hand steadily holds a goose quill pen, dipping it into an ink well from time to time — even his eyes follow the words he’s writing on the page in front of him.
These toys were initially designed as an advertisement to help improve the sales of watches amongst the elite in Europe. The idea was that if a designer could make something as brilliant as a little machine boy who can write to you, they could certainly make a device to tell time!