EINER H. TOSTENSON
The Minneapolis Morning: Tribune of June 30th, 1959 had this to say about one of our good friends, E. H. Tostenson, 3609 24th Avenue, Minneapolis. Minnesota. The write-up is by George Grim who has a column in that paper of 6,000 circulation
You can hear 62-year_old Einar H. Tostenson's back yard hobby all over the neighborhood of his home at 3609 S. 24th Avenue.
After all, a big boiler with a pair of shrill steam whistles, a wood fire keeping up the pressure, and a heavy whirring flywheel aren't usual outdoor equipment. The folks in the area are accustomed to hearing those whistles let loose, cutting through the summertime drowsiness.
'Einar's entertaining the youngsters,' they say, and don't fight the sounds.
It's quite a startling sight when you drive through the alley in back of Einar's place. The retired post office clerk wears a railroad engineer's cap, coveralls. His garage is jammed full of wood the neighbors have brought him to keep the engine going.
'They keep her fueled up' grinned the man with the different hobby. 'Ed Johnson tore down his one-car garage to build a two-car one. Brought all the wood from the old one here.'
A steam boiler permit and a third class engineer's license attest to Einar's lawful operation of the chugger.
'Parts of this came from Lookout Mountain, Tenn., and parts from a cannery in Wisconsin. You can't wear out a rig like this,' said Einar proudly. 'I'd say I have about $600 invested in the engine.'
A garden hose bring out more water. The whirling spheres of the governor turn silently. Not only youngsters but Tostenson's cronies stop by.
One of them is Chester L. Charter, who lives down the street. Retired after 50 years as a Milwaukee road engineer, Charter is fascinated by Einar's back yard steamer.
'Doesn't she run quiet,' said Charter. 'Real beauty.'
There's a trailer nearby on which the engine can be loaded. The wheels are from the front end of the venerable Auburn automobile.
'We take her out once in a while,' said Einar. 'People love to see it.'
For a man whose retirement from the post office was hastened by Parkinson's disease, Einar has found that steam engine mighty good therapy.
The neighborhood's children like it fine, too!