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Johann Nepomuk Maelzel

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Johann Nepomuk Maelzel
BornAugust 15, 1772
DiedJuly 21, 1838 (age 65)

Johann Nepomuk Maelzel (or Mälzel; 1772-1838) was a German inventor, engineer, and showman, best known for manufacturing a metronome and several music automatons, and displaying The Turk.


In 1805, Maelzel purchased Wolfgang von Kempelen's half-forgotten “automaton chess player,” The Turk, took it to Paris, and sold it to Eugene Beauharnais at a large profit. Returning to Vienna, he gave his attention to the construction of an “automaton trumpeter,” which, with lifelike movements and sudden changes of attire, performed French and Austrian field signals and military airs. In 1808 he invented an improved ear trumpet, and a musical chronometer.


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