Punch,  11 (1846), 83.

The Speaking Machine



News-Commentary, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



Invention, Amusement, Politics, Government, Instrument-makers

    Discusses the potential applications of Prof. Faber's 'Euphonia, or Speaking Machine'. Believes it could be combined with Charles Babbage's 'Calculating Machine' to make a 'Chancellor of the Exchequer' or a 'Mathematical Lecturer at the Universities', or combined with a type-setting machine to produce long parliamentary speeches 'with all the best benefits of emphasis and oratory'. Discusses the benefits that curates, lawyers, and the Speaker of the House of Commons could reap by having the machine deliver sermons, attend committees, and verbally discipline statesmen. Criticizes the poor elocution and laughing powers of the machine, but applauds its ability to hiss. The illustration shows Robert Peel operating the machine, with Benjamin Disraeli as the female automaton constituting its centrepiece.

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