DRESSING FOR STEAM


| July/August 1997



Case outfit

931 Robin Road, Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631

In the November/December 1996 Iron Men Album was a letter from Ken Hough of Valparaiso, Indiana regarding dress of steam engineers at the shows, and this Chady Atteberry article is a follow up on this topic. It is reprinted with permission from The Heritage Eagle 28.

Not many people have the privilege of reenacting history by operating a steam engine at a public show. Authenticity is important to show people how work used to be done. I don't like to see a modern day engineer dress in shorts, tennis shoes and a baseball cap at a show. He looks out of place to say the least. It is like seeing a play about Abraham Lincoln with the actor dressed in shorts with a bright colored T-shirt.

For the most part, at our show, we encourage our engineers to dress more like the thresher men and farmers did in the years when the engines were used and steam was king. This not only improves the show but helps to preserve our heritage. Also, needless to say, rubber-soled shoes and bare legs aren't safe around a firebox and boiler.

While at Irricana, I saw a young man who was wearing overalls and an English-type cap. He was running a 65 Case. This young man impressed me. I believe his name was Gary Kvill or maybe it was Jim. (Like a fellow told me, 'When you get a little over the hill you spend half your time looking for a restroom and the other half of your time trying to remember someone's name.')

I'd like to encourage engineers to do the same at other shows. Dress for safety and for authenticity.