A photograph of a 'mechanical man', taken by George Woodbine for the Daily Herald newspaper on 4 January 1934.
A photograph of a 'mechanical man' taken in January 1934 by George Woodbine for the Daily Herald.
This performer at the circus held at Olympia is pretending to be a robot. The audience in the background do not seem too impressed. The term robot comes from the Czech word 'robota', meaning 'compulsory labour.' It was first used in the 1921 play RUR. (Rossum's Universal Robots) written by the Czech novelist and playwright Karel Capek (1890-1938). By the 1930s the new genre of science fiction was promising a future where mechanical men would perform all humankind's difficult and dangerous work.