Last Updated: 10/7/2008


"Automata, A Historical and Technological Study," by Alfred Chapuis and Edmond Droz. English translation by Alec Reid. Published in 1958 by Central Book Company, NY. Hard cover without dust jacket as published, 407 pages with over 480 drawings and black-and-white photographs and 28 color plates. The book measures 11 inches (28 cm) high by 8-1/4 inches (21 cm) wide.

Originally published in Switzerland in 1949 by Editions du Griffon, Neuchatel, Switzerland, under the title Les Automates, Figures Artificielles D'Hommes Et D'Animaux, Historie Et Technique. The original edition is in French and was much in demand to English-speaking people.

The authors, Professor Alfred Chapuis (1880-1958) and Edmund Droz, in addition to being distinguished educators, scholars and historians, wrote numerous books and articles on various subjects. Although Chapuis' principal interest was horology, his fascination with mechanical musical instruments was deep and long lasting. This timeless work is made more interesting because of the more than 480 illustrations it contains, showing many rare and valuable items of automata.


  1. Early Automata and Articulated Masks
  2. Automata in Antiquity from the Arabs to the Renaissance
  3. Some Large Clocks with Automata
  4. Old Chamber Clocks and Pieces of Jewellery with Auomata
  5. Later Clocks with Automata
  6. Wooden Clocks and Small Novelty Clocks
  7. Mechanical Pictures and Picture-Clocks
  8. Mechanical Toys
  9. Watches and Snuff-Boxes with Automata
  10. Singing Birds
  11. Mechanical Animals
  12. Sooth-Sayers, Magicians and Conjurers
  13. Mechanical Music and Automaton Musicians
  14. Automaton Writers and Draughtsmen
  15. Walking and Talking Automata
  16. Automaton
  17. Animated Displays
  18. Trick Machinery, Fake Automata Plays and Semi-Automata
  19. Robots and Automation
           Notes and Additions

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