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Fictional Item

Name: Mr. Zweigler

Category: Vending Machine

Size/weight: 5' x 8' / 500 lbs

Rarity: common

Value: $1700

Uses: Prepares, sells hot dogs

Description (ca. 1921):

Mr. Zweiglers are steam-powered automatons in the form of a hot dog vendors that were invented by Lionel Tremaux and commissioned by Zweigle’s Inc. The mechanical vendor appears to have the ability to walk and push his cart up and down the street, cooking, assembling and selling hot dogs for a dime.

Two Zweiglers are situated downtown on each side of the river via Main Street. The machines are situated on simple rails installed in the sidewalks that guide them up and down their respective blocks. The automatons seemingly push a self-propelled steam carriage which, through an intricate series of gears and pullies connected at the legs and wheels, offers the illusion of a walking wiener vendor. They leisurely chug along among pedestrians at a slow pace making designated stops every 20 feet or so to whistle amiably at passersby and prepare freshly cooked white hots to anyone willing to part with a dime.

Mr. Zweiglers operate on a basic steam compression engine housed in the carriage that powers locomotion and steam cooks the hot dogs in a chamber accessible by a lid at the top. When a dime is placed into the payment slot, Mr. Zweigler takes out a hot dog, places it on a bun (stored in a separate compartment at the top of the carriage), and holds it out for the customer, who may then top their hot dog with the condiments provided on a shelf along the side.

Mr. Zweiglers have become the subject of controversy due to their tendency to derail and wander off, or simply run over anything that happens to lay in its path. On the occasionally crowded sidewalks, people have been pushed over, snagged in one of the gears or joints, had limbs crushed or, in one case, amputated.

In response to public suggestions that Mr Zweiglers are dismantled, or at the very least kept stationary, inventor Lionel Tremaux has remained a staunch defender of his design, stating, “What’s the point of having a walking wiener vendor that can’t walk?”

Despite controversy, Mr. Zweiglers remain, at least for the time being, a popular lunchtime attraction in Rochester. Zweigles has revealed plans to install more Mr. Zweiglers within and around the city.