1722 1822 1922

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Meisl, Carl. 1722 1822 1922 (retitled for book publication in 1823). Play in German, produced 1822. Discussed in John J. Pierce's "Imagination and Evolution: A Conceptual History of Science Fiction" (unpl. ms) and in Matthew Guerrieri's "Rare score ties Beethoven to time travel" in The Boston Globe on line for 26 September 2015[1]

Guerieri notes and Pierce quotes: "Meisl’s vision of the 20th century is ludicrous, but only slightly. Rumpler," the protagonist, "is astonished by self-propelling farm equipment, intrigued by air travel (balloon-taxis abound), and finds equally 'stupid' and 'terrible' armies of war machines that automatically fight each other. After inadvertently ruining an 'artificial thinking machine' — a clockwork automaton doing its rich owner’s paperwork — Rumpler, fleeing retribution, uses his second wish to return to 1822, in Rumpler’s (and, probably, the audience’s) estimation, 'the happiest time.'" Balloons are common in the proto-SF of the period, but note the autonomous farm machinery and, definitely, early clockwork expert AI.

RDE, Initial compiler, with thanks to JJ Pierce