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Aug 1, 2017

In 1770, inventor Wolfgang von Kempelen debuted his latest creation before the court of Maria Theresa of Austria. His chess playing automaton caused a stir when it appeared to not only move on its own, but also think and match wits against skilled chess players. Even though it was all an illusion, its effects were profound, far reaching, and long lasting.


Ricky Jay — "The Automaton Chess Player, the Invisible Girl, and the Telephone," from Jay's Journal of Anomalies, vol. 4 no. 4, 2000

Tom Standage — "Monster in a Box," from Wired, Mar 1, 2002

Wikipedia — "The Turk"


Podington Bear — Surface Tension 1
Podington Bear — Surface Tension 2
Podington Bear — Surface Tension 3

Illusion is written and produced by Brian Earl. Follow Illusion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and please consider leaving a review. It's a quick and painless way to show support, and it helps more people find the show.