Automata in Western World

Toys with characteristic movement are known as “Automata”, of which power source has owed to the technology of conventional spring-driven movement in many clocks.  

In Japan, some of the Automata have high evaluation as the fine works of art produced from the 19th century to the 20th.  

Today we can see them only in some museums of toys and music box, or in some exhibitions.  Automata have various features in their long history.

The history of Automata has the height of prosperity in the 18th century in Europe.  In particular, the “Duck”, opened in 1738, was as like as a real duck, and further it could show very interesting and characteristic motions; drinking water, picking, quacking, flapping, and excretion after digestion of food.  

Although we can see, today, only the picture of the wreck of the “Duck”, and cannot find the record that describes the mechanism in detail, the excellent technology invented for Automata has been put in practical use, which led to the first step of the industrial revolution in Europe.

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