Painting A Kitten

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Joan Lindauer adds her own personal touch to one of her dad's Kitten engines.
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1992 Summer Festival sponsored by the Sisters of St. Benedict.
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Ferdinand, Indiana, and Jerry Kitten, R. R. #2, Box 6, Slaton,
Texas 79364.

The Sisters of St. Benedict had their celebration of being in
Ferdinand, Indiana, for 125 years in the summer of 1992. This
celebration was called the Summer Festival/Farm Show. Quilts
Galore, and Antique Farm Show headlined the Summer Fest Events.

Just like red geraniums in Bavaria, quilts galore and more were
on the monastery grounds on June 27 and 28. Featured this year were
125 quilts, one for each year the sisters have been in

Meanwhile, the Ferdinand Benedictine Heritage Farm Show was also
underway. As the sisters remembered their traditions of manual
labor and of collaborating with the local folks, some of them
worked alongside generations of farmers as they again used horses
and wagons to bring wheat to the separator.

The farm show included antique tractors, an early powered wood
saw, a burr mill to grind corn, plowing under wheat stubble, broom
making, a steam calliope, a petting zoo and of course steam
engines. The feature company was the Ferdinand Machine Works, which
is more popularly called the Kitten Machine Works. At the show were
four Kitten steam engines and two Kitten separators.

So you can see for a celebration this size the feature company
equipment needed to be in showroom condition. The hours spent
cleaning and painting brought to mind the story of ‘How To
Paint a Kitten Steam Engine.’ You can see the end result.

First step is to clean and sandblast the engine so as to have
good metal for the paint to adhere to. Then, paint the boiler black
and the water tank gray.

The wheels, tool boxes, canopy, parts of pitmans, engine,
flywheel, gears, and platform were red. Notice I said parts, not
all, and still other parts were painted green.

Of course there were the finishing touches or signatures on each
engine and separator; each one was slightly different than the
other. To know the particular paint scheme the generations of
farmers/mechanics remember how their fathers used to paint them
when they worked at the factory.

Yellow is used on various places like the governor and name and
flower designs.

We have one key ingredient that no one else has to paint a
Kitten steam engine. Her name is Miss Joan Lindauer! Her father is
Francis Lindauer who just happened to own two Kitten steam engines
as shown here, #214 & #176. And Francis, well he was born and
raised in Ferdinand where the engines were used. He is the #1
authority on Kitten steam engines.

Joan has been well schooled on painting the engines, as you can
see from the pictures on the two engines they look like they are
right out of the factory.

For further information on painting the Kitten, just call the
Lindauers and ask for Francis, Mike or Joan.

Thank you, Lindauers, for taking good care of the equipment that
was made in Ferdinand. A special thanks to Joan for the fine

Francis Lindauer of Ferdinand, Indiana, called upon his talented
daughter Joan to paint his Kitten engines, #’s 176 and 214.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment