The “robot” called Radiana

The "robot" called Radiana
Here, she shaves an audience volunteer.

Radiana, called a "mechanical man" by the press, was exhibited by Professor John Popjie in the 1920s and 30s. This "queer figure" could fly an airplane, drive a car while the professor was blindfolded, do conjuring feats, make a cake, shave a man from the audience and "extract teeth at the Professor’s will."

The "robot" called Radiana
The most sensational Electrical 
Novelty in the World.
(Click to enlarge)

I like the Professor’s deceptively-worded guarantee on his poster:

£1,000 REWARD WILL BE PAID – to any person who can explain or demonstrate how it is electrically possible to work this scientific masterpiece as shown – The most bewildering demonstration of modern times!

His money was safe – you can’t "explain or demonstrate how it is electrically possible" because Radiana didn’t work electrically.

The magic works on the same principle as the Gollem effect, or the automaton called the Mechanical Turk. The secret is that Professor Popjie’s female assistant was hiding inside.

The "robot" called Radiana
"Nothing in here!"

Read more at Cybernetic Zoo>>

– Found at BoingBoing: Great aunt Kathleen was an automaton>>
– BoingBoing links to Radiana, 1925, at Retronaut>>
– Retronaut links to 1925 – Radiana – Professor J. Popjie (Dutch/British) at Cybernetic Zoo>>
– Interested in Pseudo-Automaton? Take a look at more posts on robots with people inside. Cybernetic Zoo>>

Tagged : / / /

One thought on “The “robot” called Radiana

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *