Iron Man Of The Month

| January/February 1970

Union City, Indiana.

Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana 47390. IRON-MAN (WOMAN) Mrs. Florence Klusman of Hemritage, Mo., points out minute details of tiny scale model Case engine and water wagon she made from aminated paper. Paul Curtiss left the Prony Brake at Wauseon, N.T.A. to see the model. Shown here, Curtiss peers into open smoke box door to observe actual flues. Gears on the quadrant, spark arresters on the stack, working clutch, grates that shake, throttle, wheel spokes even to rivet head ends of spokes in the tire all are on this authentic Case Model, serial number 1458. Mrs. Klusman didn't know a thing about an engine, but got up on the engines, asked the men what this and that was for then went about making the laminated paper model to perfection.

Men you horny-handed sons of toil who strut like cock-roosters, tooting whistles and yanking throttles at a threshermen's reunion as if steam engines were solely a man's world! You of the masculine gender who flash wrenches and feint with your long-spouted oil cans, like the fabled knights of yore, as if in mortal combat with the Iron Horse while the weaker sex looks on ....

But gentlemen you who envision yourselves as the vaunted masters of the mighty steam engine in all its diverse, multi-faceted idiosyncracies from firebox to pop-off have never really fabricated a complete steam traction engine from wheel spokes to cap-stack and whistle, with but your two hands, like a certain little lady we know. Oh, you brag about the engines you've built more possibly assembled from parts the factories have cast and machined. But we'll wager you didn't actually fashion every piece and part, say the boiler, the quadrant and gears of the throttle, the water pump, the gages, cocks and valves and other gadgets, not to mention even the flues, as perfectly scaled and workable as has Florence Klusman, using only her two hands, a pair of scissors, a razor blade and lots of womanly inquisitiveness and intuition.

Yes, men you who fawn at the reunions over the model steam engines you've built from the catalog parts-lists, the components that the shops have lathed and machined for you to assemble let's see you try your hand at making a scale model Case Engine from nothing more than laminated paper, so perfect that every part works like the prototype from which it was scaled down to tea-table proportions.

'If it were possible to put steam into this little Case boiler, it would run and operate just like the big engine,' says the comely Florence Klusman, Iron Man-woman of the month, who hails from the little village of Hermitage, Missouri.