Invented by Louis Philip Perew of Tonawand, New York, the automaton in the article is reported to be 7 feet 5 inches tall and capable of walking, running, moving its eyes, avoiding obstacles, and talking.
For a very complete picture of just what was really going on, I suggest you to click on over to this great article at Cyberneticzoo.com about Perew's Electric Man.
As the 1910 patent drawings show, the 'automaton' was actually pushed by the engine-powered carriage behind it. A hidden shaft supplied the power for the figure's walking-motion mechanism.
Designed to be a advertising device, the mechanical man had some measure of success. It was copied later on in the form of a similar carriage-pulling figure known as 'Big Chris'. The large version also eventually inspired Perew to apply for a patent for a toy version, which was granted in 1927. In the toy version, the carriage is located in front and pulls the figure along.
[ Thanks Don! ]