Iron Man Of The Month

| January/February 1971


The rural route carrier could never miss this guy or shove his mail into the wrong box. And what better place for junk mail and/or unwanted bills than to have them stuffed into the firebox of a Russell steam engine?

It's just the way an engine man's mail box should look, according to Stanley J. Mouser (no relation to Mouser the cat) of R. F. D. 1, Well-man, Iowa. Although, with all that nice, black smoke belching from the Russell stack wouldn't it be fetching to just have that 'Bull' chug the mail right on up to the house of Mouser?

Several years ago Iron-Man Stanley Mouser conceived that it would be a very novel idea to outdo the other Mt. Pleasant engineers by having a steam engine mail box. But before he could find a suitable piece of sheet-tin around the barn on which to draw his pattern and snip out the outline, a better idea lit up a bulb and started the reels to whirring in the computer of his brain.

'One day the thought struck me that a mail box was just the shape of an engine firebox, so why not build an engine that would enclose my mail box?' mused Mouser. 'It took me about two years to figure it all out (I don't think very fast) and about a year and a half of spare time (and some that wasn't so spare) to build it.'

Naturally more time was spent in figuring and looking for parts. That doesn't surprise any of us woodshed mechanics. But the most difficult thing that Stanley Mouser had to search for was the fly-wheel, finding as he did that most wheels the right diameter were just too heavy. However, finding a flat pulley from an old belt-drive washer saved the day.