Wolfgang von Kempelen built the Turk
, a chess-playing automaton which wowed Europe late in the 1700s. The Turk consisted of a wooden cabinet topped by a carved life-size human figure dressed in a Turkish-style cape; to observers it seemed to be a machine which could somehow beat human opponents at chess. In reality the gadget was an elaborate trick: the cabinet's gears and machinery hid a human player, who played the game by moving the Turk's arms from inside the cabinet. Trickeration aside, Von Kempelen was also a scientist in the employ of the empress Maria Theresa; his non-hoax inventions included a "speaking machine," in which a bellows forced air through an artificial voice box to simulate human speech.