Retrofuturist Flashback: Surgical Robot, 1912

Retrofuturist Flashback: Surgical Robot, 1912
Nurse! Photo by Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images

Robotic surgery has come a long way in recent years -- and it's certainly come a long ways since this Aug. 18, 1912 cover from France's Le Petit Journal. The humanoid machine you see is "Mademoiselle Claire, an automaton built by Robert Herdner, used by him at l'Hopital Bretonneau to hand out surgical instruments from trolley."

It's more a 1912 contemplation on what the future might contain, rather than an insight into standard Parisian surgical practices of the day.