This remarkable proposal for a steam powered street locomotive was invented by Mathewson in 1876. According to the inventor the goal was to make a machine resembling a horse in form, so as not to frighten the horses on the streets.
I may be wrong, but I think it would be a pretty dim horse that would be fooled by this biomimicmarketing avant la lettre. Perhaps another purpose was to make the steam powered carriage more acceptable to people.
Surely, this steam horse illustrates the notion that new media (steam powered carriages in this case) often try to mimic an older medium in order to become accepted more easily. Yet over time, the older medium is superseded and transformed into a cultural relic (horse powered carriages in this case).
Other examples of this principle are the electric candle light, electronic mail, and the record collection on your mp3-player.