Tonawanda merry-go-round firm making electric men, transcribed article (Buffalo Express, 1895-07-26)

Tonawanda Merry-go-round firm making electric men, article (Buffalo Express, 1895-07-26).jpg

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Tonawanda merry-go-round firm making electric men, transcribed article (Buffalo Express, 1895-07-26).jpg


They can be made any size and they are to pull advertising carts after them - Inventor hopes to improve his present model

In a short time a Tonawanda firm will be prepared to furnish to the world men of any stature and ? of any temperament or ?. To be sure they will be automatic, but that will but increase their life and durability. They have no reasoning powers but that is, of course, something to be desired. They will not get drunk and they will not strike. Electricity is their motive power, and they are all constructed with phonographs.

It is somewhat over a year since Philip Perew, a member of the well-known Gilbert, Goddard & Co., conceived the practicability? of manufacturing an automaton in the form of a human being which could run about and pull a cart. So he set to work. He studied the work of Hermes, T? and Caglestro?. He read with ? mary Wollstonecraft's novel "Frankenstein." But he found no inspirations. Indeed?, he found no directions in all the Caballa how to make springs at the hips into the legs naturally, or raise the feet with nicety.

But ? will tell, and the ingenuity of Yankees cannot be circumvented by each small things. No, at the present day, there is a patent obtained and recorded in the Patent Office at Washing ton to this Mr. Perew for the exclusive construction of electric men.

Gillie, Godard & Co. are manufacturers of merry-go-rounds. The step from a merry-go-round to an electric man is perfectly logical and natural. Now that the model has proved itself efficacious, the firm will begin the manufacture of men at once.

The idea is by no means perfected. At present all the man is good for is to pull a cart about the streets of a city. The model that has been exhibited in Tonawanda to the delight of the populace and the honor of a certain soup? us but a crude thing. The man clothed in Continental uniform drags a bea? cart with some ease, while on the sides of the cart boring? signa exalt the glory of soup? or pills, as the case may be. The model has been on the streets of Tonawanda, and it worked well. It was so alluring that the small boy flocked in such dense swarms that the policeman was summoned to chase him away. The man is about seven feet tall, and was modeled after William H. Sherhas? The cerulean of its eyes matches that of its famous counterpart exactly.

The men, though, that the ?arm will make will be run by storage batteries, and have a phonograph. The phonograph can say whatever is desired. It can expound the virtues of patent medicine, or be used for political campaigns. So, at present, the only form of labor threatened by the invention is that of the sandwich man, and that of the campaign speaker. The men and carts that are used to extol medicines will be very fine pieces of mechanism, and can be geared to go as fast as anyone desires. By simply turning on a current, the man, his eyes still fixed on eternity, can hump down the street at a rate far exceeding any bicycle.

For campaign speeches some 600 men can be spoken to at once, and then distributed in doubtful parts of the country, and turned loose. This will make things much easier for the candidate.

The limit has not been reached. In course of time it may be that men can be constructed to do almost anything, and the laboring man can sit around and smoke 25-cent cigars while a multitude of electric men do all the work. This will not occur for some years yet, but when the progress of the invention is carries to its final extremity, no on can say where it will stop.

The present machine is run by a man inside the cart who turns a crank. This is bulky and crude. But a member of the firm assured an Express reporter that the ones with storage batteries and phonographs will be very different. They will be made light, out of papier mache, and the body of the automaton out of wire. the present one weighs, with the cart, over 800 pounds, but the projected ones will hardly reach that of a real eight-stone man. They are steered by means of a rear wheel, after the manner of the ice-boat.

The affair walks with a large step, somewhat like a person on (?). the great feature in this creation is the way by which a step was obtained. The creation can step six inches high, and certainly has a (?), independent (?), if not exactly graceful.

It now reposes in a store, and is viewed by the small boy in great amaze. It has been out on the street only a few times, but it has made a great sensation. The plans of the projectors and manufacturers at present are to make these men and sell them to large advertisers. Especially in country towns it will create no end of excitement. A certain firm will be given the exclusive rights for a specified district. Then they will have them man chase about regularly with vari-colored announcements of their goods. It is known as the "Electric Advertising man" at the Patent Office.

Mr. Perew has great hopes of the success of his invention. He tried to make a dancing man for use at summer resorts, but could not get the springs geared right. A dancing man with a phonograph full of quotations from Laura Jean Libbey would have great vogue. As was explained, the advent of the Electric Man is likely to cause a revolution both in the social and the commercial world. His ? is large and comprehensive. With a little improvement, electric men with faces like ? ? could be obtained and deliver popular plays to delighted audiences. But at present his use will be confined to driving the sandwich-man out of business, and dragging in his wake a candy cart with painted signs.