Vaucanson, Jacques de

born Feb. 24, 1709, Grenoble, France
died Nov. 21, 1782, Paris

French inventor.

In 1739 he constructed an automaton, "The Duck," which imitated not only the motions of a live duck but also the motions of drinking, eating, and "digesting." An inspector of silk manufacture, Vaucanson automated the loom by means of perforated cards that guided hooks connected to the warp yarns (see weaving). His innovation was ignored for decades until J.-M. Jacquard reconstructed and improved on it; the Jacquard loom became one of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution.

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▪ French inventor
born Feb. 24, 1709, Grenoble, Fr.
died Nov. 21, 1782, Paris

      prolific inventor of robot devices of significance for modern industry.

      Educated at the Jesuit College of Grenoble, Vaucanson developed a liking for machinery at an early age, first in Lyon and later in Paris. In 1738 he constructed an automaton, “The Flute Player,” followed the next year by “The Tambourine Player” and “The Duck.” The last was especially noteworthy, not only imitating the motions of a live duck, but also the motions of drinking, eating, and “digesting.” Appointed inspector of silk manufacture in 1741, Vaucanson's attention was drawn to the problems of mechanization of silk weaving. Several of his improvements were adopted by the industry, but his most important invention was ignored for several decades. Taking into account the inventions of his predecessors, he succeeded in automating the loom by means of perforated cards that guided hooks connected to the warp yarns. Power was to be supplied by falling water or by animals. After Vaucanson's death, his loom was reconstructed and improved by J.-M. Jacquard and became one of the most important inventions of the Industrial Revolution.

      To build his machines, Vaucanson invented many machine tools of permanent importance. Toward the end of his life, he collected his own and others' inventions in what became in 1794 the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers (Conservatory of Arts and Trades) in Paris; it was there that Jacquard found his automatic loom.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vaucanson, Jacques de — (1709 1782)    mechanical engineer    Born in Grenoble, Jacques de Vaucanson conceived the idea for a number of machines, including a water pump, the first entirely automatic loom (which was later perfected by Joseph jacquard), and an industrial… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Vaucanson, Jacques de — (24 feb. 1709, Grenoble, Francia–21 nov. 1782, París). Inventor francés. En 1739 construyó un autómata, El Pato, que no sólo imitaba los movimientos de un pato vivo, sino también los movimientos de beber, comer y digerir. Como inspector de una… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Vaucanson, Jacques de — ● np. m. ►PERS (1709 1782). Créateur d automates célèbres (comme le joueur de flûte traversière), il a presque inventé l automatique, grâce à sa passion pour l horlogerie …   Dictionnaire d'informatique francophone

  • Jacques De Vaucanson — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Vaucanson (homonymie). Jacques de Vaucanson …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vaucanson — Jacques de Vaucanson Pour les articles homonymes, voir Vaucanson (homonymie). Jacques de Vaucanson …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jacques de Vaucanson — (24 de febrero de 1709, Grenoble 21 de noviembre de 1782, París) fue un ingeniero e inventor francés al cuál se le acredita la creación del primer robot así como la creación del primer telar completamente automatizado. Contenido …   Wikipedia Español

  • Vaucanson — Jacques de Vaucanson Hakenkette nach Vaucanson …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vaucanson — (Jacques de) (1709 1782) ingénieur français; constructeur d automates: Joueur de flûte (1737), Canard digéreur (de graines qu il avait mangées, 1738). à partir de 1741, il s intéressa au tissage et inventa le premier métier à tisser automatique …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Jacques de Vaucanson — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Vaucanson (homonymie). Jacques de Vaucanson Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jacques — /zhahk/, n. a male given name, French form of Jacob or James. * * * (as used in expressions) Jacques Fournier Besson Jacques Bossuet Jacques Bénigne Brel Jacques Brissot de Warville Jacques Pierre Callot Jacques Cartier Jacques Chirac Jacques… …   Universalium

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