Allen G. Baker of Dundee, Ohio with his model of a Stillman Allen mill engine. Courtesy of Carl C. Kinnaman, 1769 - 24th Street, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223.
1769. 24th Street, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44223.
If you think that all the laws of science and physics that apply to steam operation have been put down in text hooks, I would say 'no'. From my observations, one law is missing. That is that the nicest people are attracted to the hiss of the steam from an engine and the smoke from a boiler. One of these persons is Allen G. Baker of Dundee, Ohio. Allen is eighty-two years old, and has received his fifty-seventh issue of the Ohio State Stationary Steam Operators License. Since his retirement in 1956, time has allowed him to create an interesting collection of model steam engines and boilers. After completing two years of High School, he started his working career in an automobile shop in Massillon, Ohio. He received five cents an hour as an apprentice machinist. Later he passed the Ohio State Stationary Operators examination and received his license. Allen has worked in many industries in the area. Many engines have felt the fine touch of his hand so as to give maximum service while in his care. He started his model building career at an early age. In 1906 he began construction of a one-fourth scale wooden traction engine. He added to this a grain separator and water wagon. This he still has. Several years ago a picture of a Stillman Allen engine, taken at the Ford Museum at Dearborn, Michigan, appeared on the front cover of the Iron-Men Album. He converted this picture to plans and then to a fine working model.
His newest model is a Bolton Watt Beam engine. This also was a picture in a history book. Allen's eyes clicked to a stop, and an idea for another model was born. He has now drawn plans for a Corliss Engine and has started creating another model engine. He has restored to working condition, two small upright boilers. Again no detail is left undone. He has built other engines and also a horizontal return tube boiler. All his engines show fine workmanship and run extremely well.
The area surrounding the vicinity of Dundee, Ohio, is rich in history and lore. There are Indian trails, Ohio Canal, Zoar Village, and the Schoenbrunn Village, which story is the basis for the Ohio Historical Outdoor Drama, 'Trumpet in the Land,' at New Philadelphia, Ohio. Canton was the home of the former Aultman-Taylor Factory, and in Massillon, Ohio, the Russell Company. Concerning all of these, Allen has a great knowledge and is very happy to converse with any passerby. If you stop at the Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Steam Show, August 18, 19, and 20th at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds, Dover, Ohio, be the good Lord willing, you will see Allen there by his models and he will certainly have steam up. Since all good wives are behind all good husbands, it is quite evident that Mrs. Viola Baker has been a faithful supporter of his hobby. Their sound basic values and ideals carry through their family to their children and grandchildren. So may we add Allen G. Baker to the illustrious list of Iron-Men.