Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel

Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel

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by Paul Guinan, Anina Bennett
     
 

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Meet Boilerplate, the world’s first robot soldier—not in a present-day military lab or a science-fiction movie, but in the past, during one of the most fascinating periods of U.S. history. Designed by Professor Archibald Campion in 1893 as a prototype, for the self-proclaimed purpose of “preventing the deaths of men in the conflicts of

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Overview

Meet Boilerplate, the world’s first robot soldier—not in a present-day military lab or a science-fiction movie, but in the past, during one of the most fascinating periods of U.S. history. Designed by Professor Archibald Campion in 1893 as a prototype, for the self-proclaimed purpose of “preventing the deaths of men in the conflicts of nations,” Boilerplate charged into combat alongside such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia. Campion and his robot also circled the planet with the U.S. Navy, trekked to the South Pole, made silent movies, and hobnobbed with the likes of Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla.
 
You say you’ve never heard of Boilerplate before? That’s because this book is the fanciful creation of a husbandand-wife team who have richly imagined these characters and inserted them into accurate retellings of history. This full-color chronicle is profusely illustrated with graphics mimicking period style, including photos, paintings, posters, cartoons, maps, and even stereoscope cards. Part Jules Verne and part Zelig, it’s a great volume for a broad range of fans of science fiction, history, and robots.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Melissa Moore
Robots have existed for centuries, dating back at least to the first century AD, and the topic frequently captures the imagination of the public. Boilerplate—the creation of Professor Archie Campion—made appearances around the world for twenty years, and then he was lost. Campion lost his brother-in-law in the 1871 Korean War and created Boilerplate as an example of a robot-soldier, who could go in to battle and prevent the loss of human lives. Boilerplate made his debut at the Chicago World's Fair, traveled with Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, and met Laurence of Arabia in the desert. He appeared in silent films and rode with the Buffalo Soldiers. Or did he? Boilerplate actually never existed. He is the fictional creation of Guinan and Bennett, veterans of the comic book industry. They accurately retell twenty years of the nation's history and cleverly inserted Boilerplate into dozens of photos. The format is similar to the DK Eyewitness books, with an overall narrative frequently interrupted by sideline stories, maps, and pictures. The text is well-written, historically accurate, and engaging, with the interweaving of personal experience. The only problem this reviewer actually has with the book is that it looks too authentic; there is no note, no addendum to acknowledge that much of the book is a spoof. Only those familiar with history would know that Boilerplate is fake, which makes independent reading of this text potentially problematic for much of its audience. Reviewer: Melissa Moore

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810989504
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Pages:
168
Sales rank:
1,016,512
Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
15 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett have been collaborating on comics and graphic novels since 1989, including the Eisner Award–nominated science-fiction comic series Heartbreakers. Paul is an artist and writer whose clients include the History Channel and the Cartoon Network. Anina is a writer and editor who has worked with Dark Horse Comics and international publisher Egmont. They live in Portland, Oregon.

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Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Kamehameha_VI More than 1 year ago
I first heard about this book because J.J. Abrams was looking to turn it into a movie. So I ordered it and I love it. It is seeing history through Boilerplate the first robotic man. It is like Forrest Gump for the early 20th Century. Riding to TR in the Spanish-American War, fight with and against Pancho Villa, and then disappearing in World War I. This book is for the history buff and the sci fi buff. But, I would like to know what happened to Boilerplate. Sequel?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago