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Grootste mysterie uit WO1...

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Auteur Bericht

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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Mrt 2006 7:23    Onderwerp: Grootste mysterie uit WO1... Reageer met quote


Boilerplate was a mechanical man developed by Professor Archibald Campion during the 1880s and unveiled at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.
Built in a small Chicago laboratory, Boilerplate was originally designed as a prototype soldier for use in resolving the conflicts of nations. Although it was the only such prototype, Boilerplate was eventually able to exercise its proposed function by participating in several combat actions.
In the mid-1890s, Boilerplate embarked on a series of expeditions to demonstrate its abilities, the most ambitious being a voyage to Antarctica. In 1901, to celebrate the new century, Boilerplate circumnavigated the globe in what turned out to be a failed publicity attempt to garner interest in its industrial applications.
Boilerplate is one of history's great ironies, a technological milestone that remains largely unknown. Even in an age that gave birth to the automobile and aeroplane, a functioning mechanical man should have been accorded more significance.


When the American First Army became official on August 10, 1918, Boilerplate was attached to Pershing’s staff and functioning in a variety of roles. The metal soldier participated in the St. Mihiel campaign in September and was to take part in the Meuse-Argonne campaign in October.
On October 2, 1918, General Pershing ordered the U.S. 77th Division to advance through the Argonne forest--"no matter what our casualties are."

A mixed battalion of about 550 men under Major Whittlesey proceeded toward the Charlevaux Valley, encountering light resistance. They reached a defensible position by evening and dug in for the night. In the dense forest and incessant rain, German units managed to encircle the U.S. force and effectivly cut them off from any relief. In the following days, Pershing had the 50th Aero Squadron attempt an air-drop of supplies. The mission ended in failure: the planes were either shot down, or their packages captured or lost.

By October 5, the "Lost Battalion," as it was being called by the press, was without food or water. The next day, Pershing had Boilerplate loaded with as much supplies as it could carry. Its mission was to break through the German lines, pinpoint the exact location of the American troops, and deliver the supplies. The metal man returned after its successful mission, then, on October 7, participated in an assault that relieved the Lost Battalion.

During that action, Boilerplate vanished without a trace....

Boilerplate during the St. Mihiel Campaign, September 1918. Within a month, the mechanical soldier would be missing in action.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Mrt 2006 8:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Winter: Archibald Campion is born in Chicago Illinois.

Spring: Proffesor Campion builds a small laboratory on Chicago's North Side.
Summer: Construction begins on Boilerplate.

Summer: Boilerplate is unveiled in Machinery Hall at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Fall: The Pullman Railroad strike paralyzes the U.S.
Boilerplate prevents the deaths of several strikers at the hands of private security thugs.
Winter: During Campion's stay in Hawaii, a U.S. coup ousts the queen.

Summer: Campion is present at the opening of Tesla's hydroelectric generator at Niagara Falls.
Proffessor Campion takes Boilerplate on an expedition to the South Pole.

Summer: Campion witnesses Otto Lilienthal's death in an aeroplane crash.
Winter: Boilerplate is photographed by motion-picture cameras as part of a movie craze sweeping the U.S.

Spring: Marconi demonstrates wireless telegraphy for Campion.
Summer: Boilerplate is present at Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

Summer: Boilerplate is sent with the Rough Riders to Cuba.

Spring: Boilerplate is sent to the Philippines.
Fall: Archie and Lily Campion set out toward Asia to rejoin Boilerplate.

Summer: The Campions and Boilerplate are in China during the Boxer Rebellion.

Spring: The Campions and Boilerplate begin their World Circumnavigation Tour.

Summer: Boilerplate is at Port Arthur when it is attacked by the Japanese.

Summer: Boilerplate joins General Pershing on a punitive expedition against Pancho Villa.

Boilerplate is reported as missing in action during World War One.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Mrt 2006 11:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Die theorie over de gevolgen van zijn verdwijning is ook wel interessant:
Many have speculated about Boilerplate's fate. Here's one theory:

"Certain secret documents have given me clues about the later history of Boilerplate, beginning with his mysterious disappearance in WWI. It seems clear he was spirited off by German scientists who took him apart and studied his secrets. As proof, just look at the advanced state of their industries only 20 years later. Surely a nation that was beaten and disarmed in 1918 couldn't have built the first guided rockets and jet airplanes without a boost. And where did that boost come from? Boilerplate Technology."
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Mrt 2006 15:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Prachtig. En het is nog niet eens 1 april Very Happy
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Mrt 2006 15:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik ga die keukenrobot van mijn grootmoeder toch eens van dichtbij bekijken.

De herkomst ervan is altijd een beetje een mysterie geweest voor de familie.
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Regulus 1

Geregistreerd op: 17-7-2005
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Woonplaats: Jabbeke, Flanders - Home of the Marine Jagdgeschwader in WW I

BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Mrt 2006 18:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Was er niet zo'n spreuk van op 31 maart en 1 april heeft men.... Embarassed
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BerichtGeplaatst: 02 Apr 2006 18:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The History of Robots in the Victorian Era
By Jim Regan | January 16, 2004 | Christian Science Monitor

Robots have been making significant inroads into our culture over the last few years. They're roaming on and around distant planets, building cars, vacuuming the rug and even serving as surrogate pets. But it may surprise you to learn that sophisticated androids have been walking the earth since at least the late 1800s - achieving feats that still haven't been equalled in the 21st century. (One prototype actually took part in World War One.) The History of Robots in the Victorian Era follows the careers of these early automatons, and at the same time, tests the limits of human credibility.

Launched in July 2000 to tell the amazing story of "Boilerplate" (history's first mechanical soldier created in 1893), the website has since expanded to include three other milestones of robotic engineering - The Electric Man (1885), The Steam Man (1865), and the Automatic Man (exact date unknown). And while these Victorian marvels might have benefited from some more imaginative names, their exploits (from Antarctic exploration and circumnavigation to foiling train robberies) would put Honda's new robot ASIMO to shame. One can only imagine why so few of us know about these extraordinary machines today.

Unless, of course, it's because they never existed.

Truth be told, The History of Robots in the Victorian Era is an unintentional hoax - originally created as an online pitch for a graphic novel about the tin soldier, Boilerplate. (Samples from the book are posted onsite.) Things got interesting, though, when webmaster and commercial artist, Paul Guinan, realized that some visitors to the site were taking the fiction as fact, and, as would any self-respecting artist when faced with such an opportunity, Guinan decided to see just how real he could make his character seem. Still, this isn't a 'hoax' in the sense of a serious intent to deceive - there are clues throughout the site (not to mention articles about the true nature of Boilerplate's status), and at least one outright disclaimer - the latter included to appease the good folks at the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Unfortunately, there was no way that I could properly review the site without first spilling the beans - since it's the execution of the fiction that makes The History remarkable. But even for those who are in on the joke, the story of Boilerplate is so thoroughly and convincingly done as to almost demand the willing suspension of disbelief.

Guinan closes the credibility gap by interweaving fact with fiction - a strategy which is itself enhanced by numerous examples of Photoshop sleight-of-hand used in creating the site's 'archival' images. (The full chronicle of Boilerplate includes more than 100 images, ranging from his first appearance at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, to posing with Pancho Villa and Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.) Guinan fills in Boilerplate's background with a biography of the tin man's inventor, and such ephemera as movie, vaudeville, and even Soviet propaganda posters featuring the robot. The story is further reinforced with such touches as 'then and now' photographs of the factory where the robot was constructed, and a tour of the renamed ship on which Boilerplate sailed to the Antarctic (currently on display at the aforementioned San Diego Maritime Museum). In combination, Guinan's various strategies could even leave even a skeptic still skeptical, but no longer rock solid in their lack of belief.

If you feel a bit cheated since you'll be viewing the site with knowledge of the 'real' story of Boilerplate, take heart - Guinan's intricate weaving of fiction with legitimate history serves to maintain an air of uncertainty about all of the 'archival' content on his site. For example, are the other robots depicted in the History more examples of the webmaster's artistic talents, harvested illustrations from real 19th and 20th century publications which were 'repurposed' to add credibility to the Boilerplate saga, or simply appreciations of previous artists' fictional robotic creations?

As an example, Victorian Robots makes frequent reference to the inventor, Frank Reade Jr., and displays many of his inventions. A Google search of the name reveals, among other things, an Arizona State University lecture and a US Centennial of Flight essay that make reference to 19th century dime novels featuring the fictional Reade's adventures - so Reade would appear to be a previously created fictional character, akin to Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger.

And yet both of these scholarly references list Guinan's pages as their only Reade source. Did these sites fall for Guinan's fictional creation of a fictional creation? Was Reade a real (fictional) character recruited to lend credibility to Guinan's stories? Is Reade actually the mastermind behind all these creations, trying to divert attention away from himself due to a debilitating introversion stemming from a traumatic third grade show-and-tell experience? The truth is out there - if it doesn't drive you crazy first.

On the design front, The History has a basic construction (read; fast loader) with only two idiosyncrasies - both, I expect, due to the site's age. First is a left-justified layout that may seem off balance to most, but will be a welcome sight for those still using 640x480 pixel monitors. Second is the navigation which, not surprisingly for a site which has been expanding piecemeal for more than three years, offers no simple linear routes for exploring the site. Fortunately, the History's online host has a site mapin case you're worried about missing any content. Or clues.

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