Friedrich von Knaus – 传记、历史和发明


  • 弗里德里希·冯·克瑙斯(friedrich von knaus)(1724-1789)是一位德国钟表制造商、机械师和发明家,他制造了可以演奏乐器和写下简短短语的钟表机械。
  • 人们相信,克瑙斯创造了第一台写字自动机。
  • 克瑙斯至少制造了五台写字自动机,其中第一台是在1753年在法国展示的。


弗里德里希·冯·克瑙斯(friedrich von knaus)(1724-1789)是一位德国钟表制造商、机械师和发明家,他制造了可以简单地演奏乐器、写下简短短语或执行其他个别专门任务的钟表机械。人们相信,正是克瑙斯创造了第一台写字自动机。

弗里德里希·冯·克瑙斯于1724年2月7日出生在卢德维格斯堡附近的阿尔丁根(aldingen),现在是斯图加特的一个郊区,他的父母是约翰·路德维希·克瑙斯(johann ludwig knaus)(1689-1742)和安娜·玛格丽特·克瑙斯(anna margarethe knaus)(1689-1756)。约翰·路德维希·克瑙斯是一位教师,后来成为达姆斯塔特法院的机械工和钟表师。弗里德里希有个哥哥约翰·菲利普·路德维希(johann philip ludwig)(出生于1715年),他也成为了一位著名的钟表制造商,并与弗里德里希一起工作制造了几台自动机。


在他的哥哥的工作室工作时,弗里德里希展示了他的才能,他被达姆斯塔特大公的宫廷接纳为宫廷侍从和宫廷机械师。然后他被带到科隆的选帝侯克莱芒特·奥古斯特(clément auguste)的服务。后来克瑙斯前往巴黎,在1753年向法国国王路易十五展示了他的第一台写字自动机,但并没有成功。因此,他前往荷兰和比利时,在那里受到洛林亲王查理的委托,在布鲁塞尔工作,然后在1756年来到维也纳,在1757年成立了物理宫廷博物馆(“court cabinet of physics”),并担任该博物馆的主席。在1757年,克瑙斯完成了一台可以演奏法笛的机械音乐家。他最著名的构造之一是1770年制造的四个机械说话头,然而它们并不非常成功。他的其他发明包括一台带有复印机的皇帝写字台和“可移动的图片面板”。




克瑙斯制造了几台(至少五台)写字自动机,其中第一台是在1753年在法国展示的。在他较早的例子中,写字只是由一只握着笔的手追踪而成的。然而,第四台写字自动机有了重大改进,因为它是一位真正能写出长篇文字的作家(一个人物)。克瑙斯于1760年将其呈现给神圣罗马帝国皇帝弗朗茨·斯蒂芬。该自动机是由克瑙斯于1764年制作的,并赠送给他的赞助人洛林亲王查理。这台钟表机械通过移动一只手,使其蘸取墨水,然后在一张小卡片上写下“huic domui deus / nec metas rerum / nec tempora ponat”(愿上帝不对这座房子强加限制或截止日期)。该机械(由镀银铜制成,尺寸为68厘米宽,100厘米高)的镀银金属涂层上刻有“pro patria”的字样。

none of the mechanisms of knaus' most advanced writing automata (see the figures below) was contained in the body of the figure, but enclosed in a metal sphere on which the figure was placed. the principal mechanism constitutes a horizontal roll composed of pins, introduced into appropriate openings. when moving, the pins press on a keyboard containing keys, each key corresponding to a letter. the machine wrote a lengthy passage of 107 words and antedated the similar machine of jacquet-droz by almost two decades.

while the first three machines produced a programmed text, the fourth, preserved to the present day in vienna (wien, technisches museum), could write any phrase composed in advance, and it could also write to dictation by means of a hand-operated control on the letter keyboard.

knaus' writing automata, a drawing from 18th century

the writer

after having drawn some characters, the writer automatically dips his feather in the inkpot in front of him. a special mechanism located behind moves the shelf towards the left after each letter; when a line is finished, the shelf is push at the same time in the horizontal and vertical direction.

during his show in front of the emperor, on the 4th of october 1760, the writer of von knaus filled the emperor and the entire court with wonder, by writing under his eyes the following headwork in french:
dear sir, do me the honour of listening to me and to what i am writing for you. the world thought that i would never be perfected by my maker, he was even so persecuted, that it was possible: but now, he put me into such a state that i write all languages, despite all his envious people, and i am truly, dear lord, the most loyal secretary

von knaus' masterpiece was an imposing piece set on a 3 inch high wood pedestal. it measures 1.9 metres from the ground to the writer's head. there is a large metal sphere about 80 cm across, with six opening sectors, which contains the mechanism for writing and is supported by two bronze eagles. the mechanism is of cast iron. originally, it was gold-coloured and the meridian circles were showed by meshes of silver. over the sphere, on a platform imitating a cloud, on the right side, is sat a goddess, from who a little genius is getting inspired.

knaus writing automata, a drawing from the 18th century

in the centre, a little shelf is erecting a vertical little table, which supports the sheet of paper on which the automaton, with its quite long arm, writes the characters previously printed on a cylinder. at each end of line, the goddess puts up her hand and the sheet of paper moves, thus ensuring to start again a new line. the entire sheet of paper is covered in fifteen minutes. after having written several characters, the writer automatically dips its quill into the ink pot which is in front of him. a special mechanism situated at the rear side moves the little table to the left after each letter. when a line is finished, the little table is pushed both to the horizontal and vertical directions.

if the cylinder is taken out of the mechanism, the operator can manually operate the levers register, thus “dictating” to the writer what we want him to write.

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