Mechanical turk dating
An ornate turban concealed an auxiliary chimney, and a long-stemmed pipe, bushy Hungarian mustache, and eyebrows sat on its sage face that evoked an exotic sorcerer of the Orient.
Overlooked by the Turk’s cold, piercing grey eyes, an 18-inch squared, ivory chessboard lay upon a maple desk.
Automata had been around for centuries, littered throughout ancient Greek mythology and brought to life over the years.
Innovations such as Leonardo da Vinci’s robotic knight and Jacques de Vaucanson’s Digesting Duck—which could be fed pellets and was subsequently capable of defecating—were created 30 years prior to the Turk.
From there, von Kempelen would begin turning a noisy side-crank and, with a flurry of the whirling gyrations of winding inner mechanisms, the Turk sputtered and sprang to life.
Theories ran rampant varying from the possible-but-unprovable, to the outright insane: a secret, compartment-contained child, a legless war veteran, offstage assistants, and a monkey trained to play chess, all rumored hypotheses.The Turk was on wheels which allowed it to be rotated and thoroughly inspected by all in attendance.A drawer at the bottom housed the chessboard, complimentary red and white chessmen, and a red velvet cushion.Possessing an ill temperament, the Turk’s right arm extended parallel to the chessboard where its gloved, rigid hand tapped impatiently if the human opponent took too long to finish their turn.If an opponent proved thoroughly outmatched by the Turk, it would cheekily shake its head and mockingly roll its eyes. “Upon beating the game, he waves his head with an air of triumph, looks round complacently upon the spectators, and drawing his left arm farther back than usual, suffers his fingers alone to rest upon the cushion.” — Word spread like wildfire.