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Smoking Robots of the Future (1931)

This picture of the bucket-headed Willie Vocalite appeared in the September 6, 1931 San Antonio Light. Designed by Westinghouse engineer Joseph Barnett, Willie appears to have been programmed with a fondness for nictoine. Early 20th century inventors sure loved to make robots smoke, (when they weren't shooting apples off their heads). So much so, that I'm surprised they didn't give Sparko his own robo-doggie cigs.

The mechanical man has been "humanized" in some respects and taught some of the manners of polite society. The Westinghouse robot shown in this photograph smokes cigarettes and obligingly "gives a light" to his companion. Another robot in Pennsylvania State College with a glass throat and water lungs puffs cigars all day long and reports scientific facts about tobacco which the most expert human smokers could not find out.


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Reader Comments (2)

What actually strike me the most, is how blatant lie and made up stories the mainstream newspapers could get by without anyone challenging them. Nowadays, there's also some bullock stories getting published in the newspaper... but on the scale of a smoking robot discussing the use of cigarette?! Jeez, it would be like if tomorrow the San Antonio Express publish a story about how Martians just cured cancer!

August 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike

This sounds a lot like Bender from Futurama. He also drinks and swears a lot too.

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

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