Looking for patents can be interesting. I did that at the European Patent
Office in Rijswijk, Netherlands in search for patents for mechanical music.
In the offspring I found at least 100 German patents for automatic page
turners (Blattwender), the earliest being DRP 42367 from 18-6-1887 to
Mr. Schweizer. A pneumatic turner was patented by tens of people. One
American invention that was also granted in Germany is that to Mr. W. Stong
in Washington DC, DRP (Deutsches Reichspatent) 263812, on 27-9-1912. He
must have taken a patent in the US too, I think.
Hans van Oost