Jaquet Droz Time-Writing Machine: Elegant in Still Life, Clumsy on Video

Illustration for article titled Jaquet Droz Time-Writing Machine: Elegant in Still Life, Clumsy on Video

Gaze upon Machine à Ecrire le Temps—so elegant, you say it in French—created by watchmaker Jaquet Droz as an homage to its robot-building 18th-century Swiss founder. Live, though, the $342,000 line-drawer ain't so smooth.

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I'm not saying I could cobble together a 1,200-part machine that you wind up to write down the time in 4th-grade block print. That is indeed a feat. But I am saying that the stuff Pierre Jaquet-Droz himself apparently contrived way back in the late 1700s, for instance, the 6,000-piece Writer—arguably the first input-output computer—sounds a lot cooler. [Oh Gizmo]

DISCUSSION

software_goddess
Software_Goddess

WOW! Of all the useless junk in my house I really need to add this to my collection of garbage creating devices. A new post-it note with the time on it every time I want to know how much past curfew my kid is. On the other hand I could hand her all those post-its and make her feel REALLY guilty!