Tony Sale’s 60-year-old Robot, George

by Mark R

The guy on the left is Tony Sale, and he is the inventor of George, the guy on the right.

George is a robot that is made from the aluminum and other scraps of a crashed bomber sixty years ago. Apparently, he has spent a large percentage of that time in a storage shed.

However, he had his fifteen minutes of fame in and around 1950 as they showed him pushing a vacuum cleaner. In reality, he wasn’t able to push a vacuum cleaner, but he could pull it. I suppose that the photo was taken to show the world that the future was robots who do all of our housework. What wife in the fifties wouldn’t want one of those?

George is going to have a permanent home at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, England. This is the same place where Tony Sale’s rebuilt Colossus computer is also on display. For those who don’t know about the Colossus, it is the “world’s first recognizably programmable computer” and it is most famous for breaking a complicated Nazi code known as the Lorenz Cipher.

I’m certain that we could build a more advanced version of George today, and it probably wouldn’t look like a cross between the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz and a human-sized version of The Iron Giant.


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