1770: Mechanical Turk
Intending to entertain and bewilder audiences, Wolfgang von Kempelen created the Turk - an "automaton" machine designed to play chess. For 50 years the Turk traveled the world defeating most players including Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. The inside of the machine was a mix of gears and cogs, similar to a clock. But in 1834 the secret of the Turk was finally revealed - a strong chess master was cleverly concealed inside the box and used magnets to move the pieces. The Turk continued to amaze audiences for many years throughout Europe, the United States, and Cuba. It was, unfortunately, destroyed in a fire in 1854.