Litigation of the Inventor of “the Turk” Chess-Playing Automaton

Contemporary Extract of the Litigation Regarding the Demesne and Dam of Vödröc. (György Apponyi as Claimant, Wolfgang von Kempelen and Sámuel Klobusiczky as Respondents at the Bratislava Municipal Court and Later at Tárnok.)

10 leaves of contemporary manuscript.

The lawsuit started in 1769 because of the dam that was built for millers by Kempelen on his property in 1763. The lack of water and the drought in 1768 caused damages on György Apponyi’s property who accused Kempelen and Klobusiczky and claimed for 5000 Forint as compensation. Both courts adjudged to Apponyi. The suit was closed on August 26, 1775.

Wolfgang von Kempelen (Johann Wolfgang Ritter von Kempelen de Pázmánd, 1734–1804) was a Hungarian inventor and polymath of Irish ancestry. After his studies in law and philosophy he started to work as a clerk in Vienna. He translated Maria Theresa’s Pragmatica Sanctio into German. He became the attorney of the Royal Court in Bánát (today part of Romania). Opened the first Hungarian pawnshop. Spoke eight languages, worked as an architect and engineer. As an artist he was a painter and engraver, poet and author of several theater plays. He was member of the Academy of Art in Vienna. Constructed steam-engines, water pumps, pontoon bridge at Bratislava, a steam-turbine for mills, a typewriter for blinds, a theater house in Buda, and the fountains at Schönbrunn Vienna. He was most famous for his construction of The Turk, a chess-playing automaton. He also created a manually operated speaking machine which was a genuine pioneering step in experimental phonetics. He published a book about his invention “Mechanismus der menschlichen Sprache nebst der Beschreibung seiner sprechender Maschine” in 1791.


Price: €3,000.00

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