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Zadoc Dederick

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Zadoc Dederick
Born 8 September 1849(1849-09-08)
Hensonville, Greene Co., New York
Died 22 February 1923 (73)
Houston, Harris Co., Texas

Zadoc Pratt Dederick[i] (August 8, 1849 - February 22, 1923) was an American patent attorney and inventor who, in 1868, was the co-patenter (with Isaac Grass) of a carriage pulled by a steam-driven mechanical walking machine given the appearance of a man and advertised as the Newark Steam Man.

Patent illustration of the Steam-Carriage from U.S. Patent No. 75,874.

Selected Patents

  • US75874. Dederick, Zadoc P., Grass, Isaac. Steam-Carriage. Published 24 Mar. 1868. "A steam engine is connected to a system of levers which move, in imitations of the human legs, by the reciprocation of the piston. The mechanism is attached to a wheeled carriage which serves to steady the figure upon its legs, and is drawn thereby." https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=US&NR=75874A&KC=A&FT=D
Photocard of the Newark Steam Man prototype taken by Geo. O. Bedford, c. 1868.

Press Coverage

  • "The Newark Steam Man In New York", Hartford Courant (Hartford, CT): 2, 9 Mar. 1868, https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/369387346/ 

    Mr. Zadock Dederick has brought his "steam man" to New York, and will exhibit him in Broadway, in a building nearly opposite to the ruins of Barnum's Museum. This steam man is seven feet nine inches in hight, weighs 500 pounds, and measures 200 inches around the waist. The motion of the legs is quite natural.

    The abdominal region is occupied by a good-sized furnace, which was in full blast. The boiler is concealed from the public gaze, but is presumed to be somewhere above the furnace. The steam whistle is fixed in the rear of the hat, just above the brim, and the safety valve in an appropriate position. He wears a large, stove-pipe hat — stove-pipe literally, for it is through the cranium the funnel passes. The steam man proper is but the figure-head, as it were, of a handsome phaeton, capable of accommodating four persons, together with a tank to contain half a day's supply of water, and a bunker for a day's coal. The entire driving machinery is at the rear of the steam man, and within easy grasp of the driver seated on the front seat, who, any time, can increase or diminish the speed, turn, stop, curve, etc. Twenty pounds of steam will set the man in motion, and twenty cents' worth of coal will work him for a day — so the inventor says. The engine is four-horse power, and the man takes thirty inches in each stride. Perhaps the most extraordinary attribute of this animal is the faculty of stepping over all obstructions not higher than a foot. The inventor proposes also to produce shortly a steam horse adapted to ploughing and the heavier kinds of draft and burden. In consequence of objections on the part of insurance companies, the owner of the building where the new invention is now exhibited refuses to allow any perambulatory movements of the iron man, and he was seen yesterday in a fixed position, with the legs moving backwards and forth. In a short time the inventor will be able to show the machine in another location, where free motion will not be proscribed. As soon as the weather will permit, the iron man will set out on his travels to Chicago to demonstrate the entire success of the invention.

  • "The New Steam Man.", Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, VA): 2, 12 Mar. 1868, https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85025007/1868-03-12/ed-1/seq-2/ 

    The inventor and exhibitor of the Newark Steam Man (Mr. Zadoc Dederick,) has improved the occasion of the Barnum fire excitement by hiring rooms in the opposite house — on Broadway — for tho purpose of exhibiting his eighth wonder of the world. As a speculative enterprise, the idea must have been a success, for at 10 o'clock this morning, a large number of persons had congregated at the door clamorously seeking admission.

    Mr. Steam Man is a person of commanding presence, standing seven feet nine inches in his stocking vamps, weighs five hundred pounds, measures two hundred inches round the waist, and decidedly bucolic in general appearance.— The legs are made of iron cranks, screws, springs, ad infinitum, not quite as attractive in exterior as those we see iu the weekly pictorials, but evidently of greater durability and strength.— The motion of the legs is almost fac simile to that of the human extremities.

    The abdominal region is occupied by a good sized furnace, which was in full blast. The steam man's boiler is delicately concealed from the profanity of the public gaze, but is presumed to be somewhere above the furnace. The steam whistle is fixed in his mouth, the gauge at the back of his head, and the safety valve in an appropriate position. He wears a large stove pipe hat — stove pipe literally, for it is through the cranium the funnel passes.

    The steam man proper is but a figure-bead, as it were, of a handsome phaeton, capable of accommodating four persons, together with a tank to contain half a day's supply of water and a bunk for a day's coal. The entire driving machinery is at the rear of the steam man, and within easy grasp of the driver seated on the front seat, who, at any time, can increase or diminish the speed, turn, stop, curve, etc. Twenty pounds of steam will set the man in motion, and twenty cents worth of coal will work him for a day— so the inventor avers!

    Mr. Dederick says that he can easily accomplish a mile in two minutes on a level course, and offers to test this on Long Island Course as soon as the weather gets fine. The engine is four-horse power, and the man takes thirty inches in each stride. Perhaps the most extraordinary attribute of the animal is the faculty of stepping over all obstructions not higher than a foot. (Of course all these assertions are the inventor's, and not the result of the reporter's investigations.) It or he may he detached from a phaeton and yoked to a sleigh or any kind of wagon. Mr. Dederick is ready to procreate — without any regard to the conventional idea of nine months parturition — steam men at a cost of $300 apiece. He will also shortly produce a steam horse adapted to ploughing, and the heavier kinds of draught and burden.

    Whether the steam man prove of any practical good or not, he is unquestionably a great curiosity.— N. Y. Express.

  • "Table Talk", The Round Table (165): 187, 21 Mar. 1868, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uiug.30112113988577&view=1up&seq=181 

    WE have been to see the Newark Steam-man, and find a decided predominance of steam over man. We should be loath, in justice to our foreign friends, to accept him as a sample of Newark style. Physically, he is grand, gloomy, and peculiar to the last degree. The iron cast of his cast iron features imparts a look of singular determination to a face which might otherwise leave an impression of slight deficiency in mobility. It bears, moreover, the marks of a hard morning's work in the shape of four streaks, of a strange grimy hue, down its broad brow, which realize our conception of Pittsburg perspiration. His steam wash-basin and steam towel are probably at Newark for repairs. The chest is wonderfully full and deep, as a steam-chest ought to be, and covered with a stylish robe of superior ferruginous cassimere, which our patriotism forbids us to call an English shooting-jacket, and which we suppose must be an American steaming-jacket. The rear collar button of the shirt-band, we noticed, was very high in the neck, and by a very ingenious combination acts as a steam gauge. But by far his most remarkable article of apparel is his hat. It is a stove-pipe hat, as no one of any style need be told. On the street it is worn quite plain, with only the usual ventilator, like other good hats. But our friend has a queer habit of smoking through this hat, as other gentlemen of accomplishments one degree lower do through their noses, in which he takes great pleasure, and which, to be candid, is known to his selecter friends to have become an inveterate and chronic affection, like opium eating or impecuniosity. Some old-maidish insurance company or other, which has an interest in the premises 538 Broadway, or, for all we know, lets his lodgings — why should not a steam lodger have an incorporated landlady? — objected to this smoking in the house. So our friend, after oscillating his engines over the question awhile, decided to conform, and has had a very curious attachment fitted to his hat which makes certainly the greatest stove-pipe in the world, and shows singular method in the madness of his steam hatter. As now constructed, the stove-pipe-hat, or hat-stove-pipe, runs about thirty feet along the ceiling, comes down, and connects with a hoary stove at the other side of the room, disappearing finally through a hole in the wall. It will be observed that we have not mentioned a certain integument peculiar to gentlemen, those blessed with superior spouses excepted. We might plead that the article in question is by nature unmentionable; but candor compels the whole truth. To own up, then, the gentleman from Newark gave us audience in a peculiarly graceful dishabille that dispensed with this one garment. His attendant slave — termed in Newark, by some strange freak, his inventor — assures us, however, that this fatigue uniform is the garb only of his intimate privacy, and that he would on no account appear abroad without his sheet-iron nether garment. The fact is, the one weakness of the gentleman is the strength of his lower limbs. As with his confrère, Mr. Weston, they are his forte, and his charming dégagé costume is an eccentricity of his conscious pride in their proportions. We do not scruple, under the circumstances, to confess that we availed ourselves of this opportunity for research in steam anatomy. Brawny we cannot conscientiously style the limbs in question; but the steam shoe-tie struck us as natty in the extreme, the steam ankle is well turned, and the development of the osseous system, and above all of the involuntary muscles, was extraordinary, as will doubtless be appropriately detailed in Hall's Journal of Health, The Scientific American — a good name, by the way, for this Newark gentleman — or some other journal of similar proclivities. Seriously speaking, the machine is ingenious and its exhibition unsatisfactory. It stands perfectly still, marking time all day, pinned to its position, because when it moves it smokes, and the insurers of the building naturally prefer clean ceilings to science and fire alarms and unutterable grime. The main fact about it is that it walks, and we hear and hope that it will soon be exhibited where it can walk and show its other excellence, namely, its power of not frightening a horse. Till then we sympathize with a disgusted mechanic who stood beside us: “D– if I’d give five cents to see the thing stand here. I want to know if it can go.”

Notes

  1. The surname is also given as Dedrick, Drederick in some sources. Refer: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/MW5S-V5Y