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
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
‘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
‘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
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
There’s a trailer nearby on which the engine can be loaded.
The wheels are from the front end of the venerable Auburn
‘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
The neighborhood’s children like it fine, too!