6101 Harmony Road, Preston, Maryland 21655
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of John S. Kauffman’s
birth and the 25th anniversary of his death, members of his family
displayed their private collection of his works at the Eastern
Shore Thresher men & Collectors Association Show in August.
Four of his children and three grandchildren attended the show with
a wonderful display of his models and paintings. They had never
thought of displaying any of his works, some of them hadn’t
even been to a steam show before. Mr. Kauffman was a well known
artist who striped a number of steam engines which were restored in
the 1950s and 1960s. He is also known for designing the cover of
the Iron Men Album. Among the artwork exhibited at the show was the
original Iron Men Album sign he painted for Rev. Elmer Ritzman,
founder of the magazine.
The models displayed consisted of a Frick traction engine and a
C. Aultman Company Star engine, also wooden models of a Huber steam
engine, American thresher and Ohio Hay Press. They even
demonstrated baling straw with the miniature hay press.
Kauffman display at Eastern Shore Threshermen Show includes the
original Iron Men Album sign painted for Rev. Elmer Ritzman.
This was the first time the Kauffman family has exhibited their
collection at any show. A question to the Iron Men Album
last January asking about the initials ‘J.S.K.’ on the
cover of the magazine and the response prompted the family to bring
out the display for public viewing.
One of his grandchildren said they always appreciated Mr.
Kauffman’s work because he was their grandfather, but seeing
the public’s response gave them a whole new appreciation for
Mr. Kauffman was born October 5, 1897 and lived in the Mount
Joy, Pennsylvania, area where he and his wife raised 14 children.
He operated a sawmill at one time and was a thresherman. But he is
best known for his model making, striping ability and beautiful
paintings of steam engines, threshing scenes and country life. He
passed away August 8, 1972 leaving a legacy his family can be proud
He built many working models of steam engines and related
equipment, some of which he displayed at shows in the 1960s. He was
commissioned by the Frick Company to build a model Frick steam
engine. It was unveiled and put on display at their Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, headquarters in 1969.
The wooden Huber engine, thresher and hay press displayed were
more than 70 years old and were built as toys for his children. It
is hard to believe that they survived in such excellent condition
after all these years. All the models are striped in full, right
down to the tiniest detail.
Members of the Kauffman family attending were children Lorraine
Ginder, Jay Kauffman, Mae Cooper; son-in-law Harry Cooper; and
grandchildren Pat Hamilton, Todd Kauffman and Ruby Bollinger. They
enjoyed talking to the many people who knew John Kauffman and also
the many people who were interested in learning about him. They
planned to attend some of the other shows and being back at the
Eastern Shore Threshermen Show next year which will be August 7, 8,
We thank the family for sharing their collection and hope their
experience will spark a new interest among them attending steam