Here is the most extensive collection of images and information on
Victorian-era robots to be found in the whole World Wide Web.
Read illustrated accounts of the world's first robot, the Steam Man, created in 1868! Subsequent automatons such as the Electric Man and the Automatic Man are also profiled. The most comprehensive section, with more than 20 pages, concerns the mechanical man known as Boilerplate--described as "deliciously detailed" by The New York Times, "charming" by U.S. News and World Report and declared "cool" by NASA!

Boilerplate was unveiled in 1893 by Professor Archibald Campion. Built as a prototype soldier for use in resolving the conflicts of nations, Boilerplate served with Roosevelt's Rough Riders and fought alongside Pancho Villa.

The Electric Man was built in 1885 by Frank Reade for varied uses during Reade's globe-trotting adventures. Reade had already made astounding breakthroughs with his Electric Horse.

The Steam Man was created in 1868 by famed inventor John Brainerd. As the world's first robot, its significance cannot be overestimated.

The Automatic Man was constructed in the late 1880s and displayed in 1900 by Louis Philip Perew. Its initial, limited use as a carriage-puller (seen at left) was clearly inspired by the Steam Man.

As part of this comprehensive overview of turn-of-the-century robots, both real and imagined, I've devoted a page to

Visit with the Reade family of inventors/explorers, who constructed their own Steam Men and other remarkable inventions .

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