Another True Iron – Man Allen G. Baker

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Carl C. Kinnaman
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.

Farm Collector Magazine
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