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Androids in the Enlightenment – Mechanics, Artisans, and Cultures of the Self - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Androids in the Enlightenment: Mechanics, Artisans, and Cultures of the Self

Adelheid Voskuhl


The eighteenth century saw the creation of a number of remarkable mechanical androids: at least ten prominent automata were built between 1735 and 1810 by clockmakers, court mechanics, and other artisans from France, Switzerland, Austria, and the German lands. Designed to perform sophisticated activities such as writing, drawing, or music making, these “Enlightenment automata” have attracted continuous critical attention from the time they were made to the present, often as harbingers of the modern industrial age, an era during which human bodies and souls supposedly became mechanized. This bo ... More

Keywords: mechanical androids, automata, clockmakers, court mechanics, artisans, piano-playing women, Enlightenment, eighteenth century, mechanization, industrial technology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780226034027
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226034331.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Adelheid Voskuhl, author