THE EDITOR'S COLUMN


| January/February 1982



Kitten 24 HP

This is the start of what we hope will be a regular column in IMA, dealing with readers, engines, farming, museums, magazines and related matters. If you have suggestions for what should be included, please send them along.

A telephone call came in recently from Jerry Kitten, of Slaton, Texas, near Lubbock, whose 'triple great uncle' Lorenz Kitten started the Kitten steam engine business. Jerry is a Kitten collector who sought copies of articles IMA had published 23 years ago on the Kitten. We hope to have information from him soon, so that we can do an article bringing the Kitten story up to date. His address is RD2, Box 6, Slaton, Texas 79634.

Kitten 24 HP owned by Paul B. Stoltzfoos, of Leola, PA, shown at Rough and Tumble Historical Engineers Association grounds, Kinzers, PA. Serial no. 214. Joseph Kitten, son of a Prussian maker of wooden shoes, established a shop at Ferdinand, Indiana. His first Kitten was made about 1880; the last one, serial #246, was made in 1940. Information from Wilmer J. Eshleman, R & T member, and Jim Norbeck, Encyclopedia author.

If you have not sent in your information and ad for our 1982 Steam & Gas Show Directory, do it now. Make sure you include full addresses and telephone numbers for contact persons. On the road this summer, we were stymied in trying to make telephone calls to people who could tell us about associations. We found the Canandaiga (N.Y.) and East Smithfield (Pa.) meets, and enjoyed our visits to both.

If you collect and help operate a museum dealing with engines and other items from days gone by, you will be interested in this statement from John H. White, Jr., curator of transportation at the Smithsonian Institution, who was in charge of the project to operate the John Bull locomotive on its recent 150th anniversary:

'To break through barriers that make us see artifacts of the past as remote, obscure relics: A sensitive observer must come to understand them as ordinary objects that were once undistinguished participants in everyday life. Only if we can understand material culture in this sense can we interpret the past beyond the antiquarian level.'