The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | September 2, 2014

Jill Owens: IMG David Mitchell: The Powells.com Interview



David MitchellDavid Mitchell's newest mind-bending, time-skipping novel may be his most accomplished work yet. Written in six sections, one per decade, The Bone... Continue »
  1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Bone Clocks

    David Mitchell 9781400065677

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$8.50
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton History of Science- Technology

Turk Chess Playing Machine

by

Turk Chess Playing Machine Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On an autumn day in 1769, a Hungarian nobleman, Wolfgang von Kempelen, was summoned to witness a conjuring show at the imperial court of Maria Theresa, empress of Austria-Hungary. So unimpressed was Kempelen by what he saw that he impetuously declared that he could do better himself. Very well, said the empress, and gave him six months to deliver on his promise.

The following year Kempelen unveiled an extraordinary contraption: a mechanical man seated behind a wooden cabinet. The Turk, as it became known, was fashioned from wood, powered by clockwork, and dressed in a stylish Turkish costume. Most astonishing of all, it was capable of playing chess. But how did it work? A torrent of pamphlets, books and articles followed the Turk wherever it went. Was it controlled by a dwarf, a monkey, or a legless war veteran lurking in its innards? Was it an elaborate form of puppet, or controlled by magnets? Or had Kempelen succeeded in building a thinking machine? Even eminent scientists failed to fathom the Turk's secret.

Kempelen's machine was a huge success in Europe and America. The subject of numerous stories, legends and outright fabrications, the Turk became associated with a host of historical figures, including Benjamin Franklin, Catherine the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Babbage and Edgar Allan Poe. Along the way, this strange creation unwittingly helped to bring about the development of the power loom, the computer and the detective story.

Part historical mystery, part real-life fairy tale, the mystery of the Turk has assumed a new significance in the computer age, as scientists and philosophers continue to debate the possibility of machine intelligence. To modern eyes, the Turk now seems to have been a surprisingly far-sighted invention. This book tells the story of its remarkable and chequered career.

Review:

"[A]n absorbing historical yarn...the story of a remarkable machine and its extaordinary creator as they surfed the rising tide of technology, leaving controversy (and bruised egos) in their wake." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"Saving the best — the truth about the Turk — for last, he keeps us on the edge of our seats, wondering about the secret to this magical device. History as seen from an unusual angle; thrilling stuff." Booklist, starred review

Review:

"It is fascination, obsession, inquiry, storytelling, and literary magic at its very best." Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World

Synopsis:

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Synopsis:

This is the true account of the 18th-century mechanical man, powered by clockwork, dressed in a Turkish costume, and capable of playing chess. Created by a Hungarian nobleman, the machine-man known as The Turk traveled Europe and America, made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin, Catherine the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Edgar Allan Poe.

About the Author

Tom Standage, the technology correspondent for The Economist, has written for Wired, Prospect, The Guardian, and The Daily Telegraph.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780425190395
Subtitle:
The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine
Author:
Standage, Tom
Publisher:
Berkley Trade
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Robotics
Subject:
Automaton chess players.
Subject:
Kempelen, Wolfgang von
Subject:
Chess - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Series Volume:
v. 1
Publication Date:
20030805
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
7.54x6.38x.75 in. .53 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of... Used Hardcover $4.50
  2. The Immortal Game: A History of...
    Used Hardcover $10.95
  3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret
    Used Hardcover $12.50
  4. The Chess Machine Used Trade Paper $3.50
  5. The Other End of the Leash: Why We...
    Used Trade Paper $8.95
  6. The Victorian Internet: The... Used Trade Paper $7.50

Related Subjects


Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Games » Chess
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » Technology

Turk Chess Playing Machine Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages PENGUIN PUTNAM TRADE - English 9780425190395 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[A]n absorbing historical yarn...the story of a remarkable machine and its extaordinary creator as they surfed the rising tide of technology, leaving controversy (and bruised egos) in their wake."
"Review" by , "Saving the best — the truth about the Turk — for last, he keeps us on the edge of our seats, wondering about the secret to this magical device. History as seen from an unusual angle; thrilling stuff."
"Review" by , "It is fascination, obsession, inquiry, storytelling, and literary magic at its very best."
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references and index.
"Synopsis" by , This is the true account of the 18th-century mechanical man, powered by clockwork, dressed in a Turkish costume, and capable of playing chess. Created by a Hungarian nobleman, the machine-man known as The Turk traveled Europe and America, made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin, Catherine the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Edgar Allan Poe.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.