MODEL STEAM ENGINES

737 Fifth Ave., Ford City, Penna.

With Steam shows increasing in interest throughout the country I
would like to give a Model Engineer’s viewpoint on their
contribution to the success of the shows. Having traveled thousands
of miles attending and displaying my engines at the various shows
in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, I have met the finest people,
not only brother model engineers, but the interested spectators as
well. It certainly makes the long hours in the workshop worth-while
when you see the smiles of interest on the faces of young and old
alike as they watch the engines run. The questions they ask show a
genuine interest. I was once asked by an interested lady why the
dissimilar metals for crank and bearing. It turned out that she was
a High School teacher and had the usual number of boys who were
mechanically inclined and she wanted to learn all she could about
the steam engines so she could talk a ‘little shop’ to them
herself.

I think that Model Engines, properly shown, contribute greatly
to a diversified steam show program, and I would certainly advocate
the program chairman to encourage the showing of Model Engines. I
had the pleasure of attending the New York Steam Engine Meet last
year at Canandaigua and saw the largest display of model engines of
all my travels. It was certainly worth the 325 mile trip to have
the courtesies extended to me by those in charge. I’m sure any
spectator would have said that the model tent was as interesting as
any other aspect of the show. I once traveled 250 miles into Ohio
only to find no one had thought of preparing a steam table for
models. Needless to say, I will never attend that show again. We
modelers often pay our way in to shows and ask only a steam or air
line to make our engines run to provide that ‘something
different’ that helps make the show a success. Ironically
enough, some of the smaller steam shows we attended had the good
foresight to have a model steam table set up for which we were
grateful.

I am also very proud to display the participation plaques that
many shows are so thoughtful to give out. True, they add to the
overall cost of putting on a show but I’m sure my engineer,
whether of big engines or little ones, would sooner part with a lot
of other things rather than that little brass plate. It is a very
kind gesture and greatly appreciated by all.

I would like to express my thanks to Rev. Ritzman and those who
make up the Iron Men Album without which the saga of steam would
soon fade away.

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