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The Amazing (1739) Digesting Duck!

Jacques de Vaucanson had a dream. His dream was that someday a truly automated digesting duck robot would be made. He was certainly a man ahead of his time, in 1739.

Well, even if he couldn’t have his dream – he wanted to fake it til he made it. He created a mechanical duck that appeared to have the ability to eat and poop. However, the poor underachieving quaker didn’t really metabolize and defecate.

The food was collected in one container, while pre-stored feces was ‘produced’ from a second compartment.

“Without the voice of le Maure and Vaucanson’s duck, you would have nothing to remind you of the glory of France.”


The duck was the size of an actual duck, cased in gold-plated copper, quaked, played in mud, took food from people’s hands… I mean – how cute and futuristic! Again, he made this Duck in 1739!!

Vaucanson’s duck was destroyed in an 1879 fire. RIP little cutie!

Source: (CC BY-SA-3.0) Digesting Duck – Wikipedia; (Public Domain) File:Digesting Duck.jpg – Wikimedia Commons. Inspiration: Paul-Belgium (u/Paul-Belgium)Reddit’s post.