x
Chess - Play & Learn

Chess.com

FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store

VIEW

Turk

Nickname of the first automaton.  Made by Wolfgang von Kempelen in 1789.  Operators included Allgaier in 1809, Weyle in 1818, Boncourt in 1818, William Lewis in 1818 to 1819, Mouret in 1820, and Schlumberger (1826 to 1838).  It was later bought by Napoleon's stepson, Eugene de Beauharnais, for the sum of 30,000 francs, simply in order to learn the secret of its operation. A former operator, Mouret, sold the secret of its operation to a French magazine, Magasin Pittoresque in 1834.  J.N. Maelzel bought the Turk from von Kempelen and took it around various cities in the United States in 1826.  The Turk created the first U.S. chess craze.  At its first appearance in Baltimore, two boys hiding on the roof overlooking the Turk discovered a man getting in and out of the machine.  Articles appeared immediately in the Baltimore Gazette, exposing Maelzel’s trickery.  Edgar Allan Poe analyzed how the “machine” worked in April, 1836 and wrote an article exposing the machine in Southern Literary Messenger.  The Turk was destroyed by the great fire Philadelphia in 1856, where the Turk was stored in the Chinese Museum.

Online Now