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"I am not a speed reader. I am a speed understander."
- Isaac Asimov

Tik-Tok  
  A mechanical man.  

"Good gracious!" cried Dorothy, shrinking back as far as the narrow path would let her.

For, standing within the narrow chamber of rock, was the form of a man--or, at least, it seemed like a man, in the dim light. He was only about as tall as Dorothy herself, and his body was round as a ball and made out of burnished copper. Also his head and limbs were copper, and these were jointed or hinged to his body in a peculiar way, with metal caps over the joints, like the armor worn by knights in days of old. He stood perfectly still, and where the light struck upon his form it glittered as if made of pure gold.

"Don't be frightened," called Billina, from her perch. "It isn't alive."

"I see it isn't," replied the girl, drawing a long breath.

"It is only made out of copper, like the old kettle in the barn-yard at home," continued the hen, turning her head first to one side and then to the other, so that both her little round eyes could examine the object.

Dorothy stepped inside the little room to get a back view of the copper man, and in this way discovered a printed card that hung between his shoulders, it being suspended from a small copper peg at the back of his neck. She unfastened this card and returned to the path, where the light was better, and sat herself down upon a slab of rock to read the printing.

"What does it say?" asked the hen, curiously.

Dorothy read the card aloud, spelling out the big words with some difficulty; and this is what she read:

+-----------------------------------------------------------------+
|
| SMITH & TINKER'S
| Patent Double-Action, Extra-Responsive,
| Thought-Creating, Perfect-Talking
| MECHANICAL MAN
| Fitted with our Special Clock-Work Attachment.
| Thinks, Speaks, Acts, and Does Everything but Live.
| Manufactured only at our Works at Evna, Land of Ev.
| All infringements will be promptly Prosecuted according to Law.
|
+-----------------------------------------------------------------+
"How queer!" said the yellow hen. "Do you think that is all true, my dear?"

"I don't know," answered Dorothy, who had more to read. "Listen to this, Billina:"

+--------------------------------------------------+
|
| DIRECTIONS FOR USING:
| For THINKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his
| left arm, (marked No. 1.)
| For SPEAKING:--Wind the Clock-work Man under his
| right arm, (marked No. 2.)
| For WALKING and ACTION:--Wind Clock-work in the
| middle of his back, (marked No. 3.)
| N. B.--This Mechanism is guaranteed to work
| perfectly for a thousand years.
|
+--------------------------------------------------+

"Well, I declare!" gasped the yellow hen, in amazement; "if the copper man can do half of these things he is a very wonderful machine. But I suppose it is all humbug, like so many other patented articles."

"We might wind him up," suggested Dorothy, "and see what he'll do."

"Where is the key to the clock-work?" asked Billina.

From Ozma of Oz, by L. Frank Baum.
Published by Not known in 1907
Additional resources -

Tik-Tok is the progenitor of classic science fiction robots - a mechanical man, made of metal. the robots in Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still are typical of the fictional creations descended from Baum's character.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ozma of Oz
  More Ideas and Technology by L. Frank Baum
  Tech news articles related to Ozma of Oz
  Tech news articles related to works by L. Frank Baum

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