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"We were essentially being shell-shocked by rapid change. That was one of the things you needed science-fiction writers for back in the Sixties, because we could cope with the future."
- Peter Watts

Automated Factory  
  A factory that works entirely automatic, without human guidance.  

This is an early explicit mention of this in science fiction.

"My father's dream! The complete utilization of mechanical power. It's the working out of a model he himself built. A single pressure on a button, and the work of a whole factory begins without anyone to watch or guide it...
From The Hidden Colony, by Otfrid von Hanstein.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1935
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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Hidden Colony
  More Ideas and Technology by Otfrid von Hanstein
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  Tech news articles related to works by Otfrid von Hanstein

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