Ozma of Oz (1907)
Reilly & Britton
L. Frank Baum
Tik-Tok was invented by Smith & Tinker at their workshop in Evna. He was later purchased by King Evoldo of Ev, who gave him the name Tik-Tok because of the sound he made when wound. The cruel king also whipped his mechanical servant but, that simply kept Tik-Tok's round copper body polished. After King Evoldo sold his wife and children to the Nome King, he locked Tik-Tok inside a rock near Wheeler Country and threw himself into the ocean.
Dorothy Gale and Billina found a golden key on the beach of the Wheeler Country and used it to release Tik-Tok himself, who had long since run down and was immobilized. He became Dorothy's servant and protector, and despite his tendency to run down at crucial moments, helped to subdue the Nome King.
When Dorothy decided to return to her Uncle Henry (who was visiting Australia), Tik-Tok wanted to join her. Since Dorothy knew that his machinery would likely not work in a civilized country, she left him with Ozma in the Emerald City.
When some of Tik-Tok's parts began to wear down, the Wizard of Oz suggested he ask the Nome King for a new set of springs which would make his thoughts more elastic and responsive. A tactless remark angered the Nome King, who threw a mace at the machine man and burst him open, spilling hundreds of wheels, pins, cogs, and springs. The Nome King's steward, Kaliko, swept up the pieces and within two weeks put the clockwork man back together.
The Shaggy Man left Oz in search of his lost brother but, after Shaggy had gone, Ozma discovered his brother's location in the Nome Kingdom. Glinda, The Good Witch of the South transported Tik-Tok to the Nome Kingdom to provide aid, but the Nome King found him first and threw him down a well. Tik-Tok was rescued by the Shaggy Man, Betsy Bobbin and Hank the Mule, and directed them to the Nome King's cavern.
Apperance and Demeanor
Tik-Tok is made of copper and is only as tall as Dorothy Gale. His body is round as a ball, and his limbs are jointed or hinged to his body with caps over the joints.
He runs on clockwork springs which periodically need to be wound, like a wind-up toy or mechanical clock. He has separate windings for thought, action, and speech. He is guaranteed to work perfectly for a thousand years.
Tik-Tok is unable to wind any of his keys by himself. He becomes frozen or mute or, for one memorable moment, continues to speak but utters gibberish. Tik-Tok is not alive and feels no emotions. He therefore can no more love or be loved than a sewing machine but, as a servant he is utterly truthful and loyal. He has a monotonic, halting mode of speech: "Good morn-ing, lit-tle girl.
The card on his back reads:
Public Domain Appearances
- Ozma of Oz
- Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
- The Road to Oz
- Little Wizard Stories of Oz
- Tik-Tok of Oz
- The Scarecrow of Oz
- The Magic of Oz
- The Royal Book of Oz
- The Tik-Tok Man of Oz
- The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays
- While the original character who appeared in Oz books published before 1923 is in public domain, the versions of the character used by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Disney, Vertigo Comics, Marvel Comics or post-1923 Oz books are NOT in the public domain.
- Tik-Tok is one of the earlier robots to appear in literature, though that term was not coined until after writer L. Frank Baum's death.