Grand Meadow Man Makes Small Steam Engines

At 76 He's A Living Legend


| September/October 1972



Avery steam engine

HE'S MR. STEAM ENGINE Henry Christgau, 76-year-old Grand Meadow machinist, is pictured with the model of an Avery steam engine he built in his shop. The model is approximately half the size of a regulation engine. It took approximately 4,000 hours of Chri

Post-Bulletin Town and Country Editor

We thank Charles Withers of the Post-Bulletin newspaper of Rochester, Minnesota for granting us permission to use the following article and picture. Also we thank Jerome M. Foster, R. D. 1, Fountain, Minnesota 55935 for sending this along in the hopes the readers would be interested in it.)

GRAND MEADOW-When he was 13 years old, Henry 'Krink' Christgau made a toy steam engine out of a half-gallon syrup pail and a bicycle tire pump.

Several years later, Christgau had graduated to bigger projects. Thousands of hours, for instance, have gone into machining the parts for an Avery steam engine. It stands in his little shop here. Half the size of a regulation steam engine, it is a working engine capable of doing the work of its bigger brothers.

Oddly enough, it was a noted aircraft designer named William Bushnell Stout who started Christgau on the road to making miniaturized steam engines. Stout was the man who designed an all-metal aircraft for Henry Ford. It was affectionately known to pilots as the 'Flying Goose.' However, Stout and Christgau became acquainted through Stout's 'Jacknife Page' which appeared in a St. Paul newspaper.

'It was devoted to make-your-own projects for young people,' Christgau recalls. 'In one of his pages Stout told how to make small steam engines. I followed his directions and the little device actually worked.'