Playbill for the Automaton Chess Player
Maezel's Exhibition, Masonic Hall
Library Company of Philadelphia
Courtesy of the Library Company of Philadelphia
Johann Nepomuk Maelzel, a Bavarian inventor, purchased The Turk from the son of the original inventor, Wolfgang von Kempelen, around 1807. He toured the attraction throughout Europe, eventually transporting it to America in 1826, where it played for crowds in many cities including New York, Boston and Philadelphia.