Signature Machine

I once worked at a place that had several of these signing a prominent televangelist's signature on solicitation letters. I was told the reason they did this is it is considered a 'real' signature as opposed to a photocopy.

Real as in faked to look real.

Saved you a Google: It's the signature of Pierre Jaquet-Droz, an eighteenth century maker of famous automata, including the Writer and The Draftsman, which worked on similar principles to this. This device was made as an homage to him, as opposed to an Autopen that replicates a living person's signature for official documents.

There have been laws passed that treat autopenned signatures the same as a "real" signature!

There is even a law specifically saying that the president of the united states can "sign" things with an autopen, and it counts the same as if they actually signed it!


Whoa! Has it got a combination lock on it so it's not used by someone unauthorised? Sweet!

Does the President himself have to at least like, press start? Or is there just some fucking machine out there with the legal authority of the President? I feel like that could easily be the plot of an ok action movie, if someone steals the machine, and a crack team of misfits and outsiders need to get it back before some crazy treaty is signed in the President's name

That crazy loop

Did it kinda incorporate a penis into the signature? for all your real fake signature needs!

In order for any signature to be valid, it has to have been the intent of the person whose signature is placed on the document for the document to be valid. Any other use constitutes fraud.


An autopen or signing machine is a device used for the automatic signing of a signature or autograph. Many celebrities, politicians and public figures receive hundreds of letters a day, many of which request a personal reply; this leads to a situation in which either the individual must artificially reproduce their signature or heavily limit the number of recipients who receive a personal response. Given the exact verisimilitude to the real hand signature, the use of the autopen allows for a small degree of wishful thinking and plausible deniability as to whether a famous autograph is real or reproduced, thus increasing the perception of the personal value of the signature by the lay recipient. However, known or suspected autopen signatures are also vastly less valuable as philographic collectibles; legitimate hand-signed documents from individuals known to also use an autopen usually require verification and provenance to be considered valid.

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I love your enthusiasm

"Hey yeah Mr. President I'm gonna need a signature on this here National Spelling Bee award."

"Just use the auto-pen"

"You got it" slips in contract to relinquish all power to Ken Bone


How do you prove intent if the president says "nuh uh, I didn't sign that" after his hand/the autopen signs it?

Pierre Jaquet-Droz

Pierre Jaquet-Droz (French: [ʒakɛ dʁo]; 1721–1790) was a watchmaker of the late eighteenth century. He lived in Paris, London, and Geneva, where he designed and built animated dolls, or automata, to help his firm sell watches and mechanical birds.

Constructed between 1768 and 1774 by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, his son Henri-Louis (1752-1791), and Jean-Frédéric Leschot (1746-1824), the automata include The Writer (made of 6000 pieces), The Musician (2500 pieces), and The Draughtsman (2000 pieces).

His astonishing mechanisms fascinated the kings and emperors of Europe, China, India, and Japan.

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Good bot

Fine, I saved you a Bing.

Presidents can sign laws this way, so why not?

There are enough witnesses around the president at all times that can confirm the intent. Same with pretty much all legal documents. Even if you signed it with your own hand there typically has to be a witness

Simple, you just need to become famous, then sell your autographs for $100 each. After you sell 3500 of them, the machine's paid for itself!

Unfortunately you'd need to change your name to Jaquet-Droz though.

Jaquet-Droz made some incredible automata. The modern company that bears his name has, imho, done quite a good job in honoring him, at least in terms of their creations. They're responsible for the bird repeater watch and the astonishing pneumatically driven charming bird watch

It’s also like $350,000

Nah, we want to use google as a generic verb for search because it pisses Google off. If it becomes ubiquitous enough, it may even become difficult for them to defend their trademarks.

Sounds like a good Black mirror episode.

A war starts out between two nuclear nations because the autopens keeps signing “Fuck yous guys!” Letters between world leaders.

The actual signature is typically a formality - it is almost always very clearly telegraphed when a President plans to sign a bill or order, with public statements made in support of it that would be taken as evidence that the signature is genuine; statements made in opposition to it, evidence that the signature was not made with the President's consent.

Also, I expect there would be documentation of the authorization to use the device. The lack of such documentation would undercut a claim that a signature was valid. Production of such documentation would undermine the President's claim that the signature was unauthorized.

In other words, common sense in a courtroom.

I thought it was about to draw dickbutt. Now I want one of these just to draw dickbutts

Your five or so centuries late with that idea. It's part of the plot of Romance of the Three Kingdoms; granted they steal the Imperial Seal instead of an autopen, but it's the same idea.