Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Letters on Natural Magic Book by David Brewster

Letters on Natural Magic by David Brewster
Here is a book on eBay entitled LETTERS ON NATURAL MAGIC by Sir David Brewster.

The book covers natural phenomena as used in magic. Topics include optical illusions, spectral illusions, magic lantern, feats of strength, automata, Babbage's calculating machines, ventriloquism, wonders of chemistry, alchemy, breathing fire, and spontaneous combustion.

13 pages and 11 small drawings are devoted to The Turk, automaton chess player.


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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Man Behind the Magic: A Profile of John Gaughan

John Gaughan and The Turk

Image by Natasha Calzatti for The New York Times

The New York Times has done a profile on automata and magic prop expert John Gaughan. Here he is shown with a recreation of the famous hoax automaton know as The Turk.

Here is the link to the New York Times article on John Gaughan.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Video of the Mysterious Chess-playing Automaton

I wrote recently about the Clockwork Game, the amazing graphic novel about The Turk.

Here is video footage of the mysterious chess-playing automaton created in 1770 by Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen.

For more details about The Turk you might check out:
Bibliography from Clockwork Game web site.

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Graphic Novel about The Turk Chess Automaton

Clockwork Game: The Illustrious Career of a Chess-playing AutomatonClockwork Game is a graphic dramatization of the historical events surrounding one of the famous automata known as The Turk. Constructed by Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen, The Turk amazed audiences for decades on several continents by playing (and besting) many human competitors at the game of chess. Or, did it...?

Written and illustrated by Jane Irwin, a new installment of Clockwork Game is available every Thursday. Not only is this true story captivating, it is well-illustrated in a crosshatched pen-and-ink style. The graphic novel will ultimately be available in many formats including print.

The Clockwork Game web site has a wealth of great information about The Turk.

Here's were you can start to read Clockwork Game from the beginning.

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