The Mechanical Turk

A clock-work chess-playing machine named The Turk wowed Europe and the US in the 18th and 19th century, beating Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon, among others. Although it turned out to be a cleverly designed trick, the device is credited with inspiring Charles Babbage — the father of the computer — who played and lost to the automaton in 1820, with the idea that a mechanical engine could be programmed to perform tasks

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