Friday, September 1, 2017

Warther Carvings Museum (9/1/2017)

Friday, September 1, 2017 (continued)
After lunch, we continued on OH-212, then OH-800, following the Tuscarawas River to Dover, OH. We stopped at the Warther Carvings Museum and Button Collection, located on the grounds of the Warther family home.
Warther Carvings Museum (1963) (KSS)
Grape Arbor (1916) with original grape vine
The first museum building was now the Button House (1936), with 73,282 buttons from the over 100,000 piece collection of Frieda Warther.
Many of the buttons were placed in designs done by Frieda
Mathematically exact designs!
Windvane (1910) carved by Ernest Warther
and erected on day of his wedding to Frieda
Workshop lock, from a German castle
Warther House (1910-1912) built with locally-made burned brick
Former Calico Ditch (millstream) and beyond, now the Mooney Playground
that was once used by all the neighborhood children, with
a steam locomotive and 1927 B&O caboose
Vintage scooter (KSS)
How to display your button collection in your home!
Vintage kitchen
Workshop (1912) is incorporated into the museum
Carving tools
The family collected arrowheads (over 5,500!),
4,728 are displayed here in the workshop
Ernest "Mooney" Warther (1885-1973), the World's Master Carver, was the youngest of five children, and at age five he took the job as the local cow herder. Periodically he was able to go to school and completed the second grade. One day in the pasture he found a pocketknife, and began whittling. A hobo taught him to carve a pair of working pliers from a single block of wood using 10 cuts, and he began whittling chains and balls in a cage.
Example of the wooden pliers, the only
carvings he ever sold, but usually gave away
At age 14, he began to work in the steel mill, and carving was his hobby.
A working scale model of the steel mill, with the inner
workings shown in a mirror below (KSS)
He carved pliers out of toothpicks, and developed the triple plier
At one point he envisioned a plier-shaped block of wood
(seen at lower left) that with over 31,000 cuts would
result in 511 pliers - his plier tree
Obviously Warther was a mechanical and mathematical genius! And his wife, Frieda, must have been close behind with her button and arrowhead designs!
Warther was fascinated with the workings of the steam engine, and at age 20, he began carving scale replicas of notable steam locomotives and historical steam engines. Exact replicas down to the nuts and bolts, using walnut and beef bone. His carvings became famous and in 1923 he agreed to travel with his carvings on a promotional train tour sponsored by the New York Central Railroad.
The original carvings that went on tour
Because carving was his hobby, Warther did not want to make it a business, and he refused offers to be moved to New York City and by Henry Ford to Detroit's Greenfield Village to live and display his carvings.
Warther also made his own carving knives to better fit his own grip, with interchangeable blades. He did make money by making knives, which is still the family business today.
By age 68, Warther completed his goal of carving the history of the steam engine when he finished the Union Pacific Big Boy (1941) locomotive. When he began to be able to afford it, he made his carvings from ebony and ivory, and replaced the bone in many of his earlier carvings with ivory.
Union Pacific Big Boy (1953), made using the stump of a walnut tree
Warther carved the bases for the models, and even the lettering, which was sometimes cursive. Imagine carving tiny letters, then carving out the spaces where the letters are inserted without any gaps or tight spots!
At the age of 72, Warther began carving replicas of trains from "Great Events in American Railroad History."
All ivory Empire State Express, the world's first high speed passenger train
Technicians in the last car of the train measure
the top speed at 132 km/hr or 82 mph (KSS)
In 1965, at the age of 80, he carved the entire Lincoln Funeral Train in ebony and ivory with mother of pearl accents.
Lincoln Funeral Train
We also were able to see the knife/cutlery factory in the basement of the museum. If you purchase a knife and it needs sharpening, you can bring it back here for free service.
Quite an impressive museum!
We took I-77 S to I-70 W and stopped in New Concord, OH. The John & Annie Glenn Museum was closed, so we wandered through Muskingum University. John Glenn entered Muskingum College in 1939, but left to enlist in the United States Army Air Corps in 1941 (having previously earned a pilot's license).
Montgomery Hall (1921) of Muskingum University
John Glenn's wife, Annie Castor Glenn, graduated from Muskingum in 1942.
We drove east on US-40, following the National Road (1811-1837), the first highway built by the federal government, from Cumberland, MD to Vandalia, IL, the territorial capital of Illinois. It would later be extended east to Baltimore, MD and west to St, Louis, MO.
National Road mile marker
National Road's Fox Run S-Bridge (1828)
Fox Run S-Bridge (KSS)
If the highway alignment crossed a waterway at an angle, it was cost-effective to build the bridge exactly perpendicular to the stream and to curve the bridge approaches. The entire National Road was resurfaced with bricks during World War I to accommodate military traffic.
We arrived in Zanesville, OH and accidentally crossed the Y-Bridge!
You can only tell it is the Y-Bridge because of the sign to the right!
The first Y-bridge was constructed in 1814 as a wooden trestle bridge, and was replaced in 1819. A winter flood weakened the bridge in 1831-1832 and it was replaced by a wooden covered bridge. A concrete bridge was built in 1902. The current concrete and steel bridge was built in 1984. It crosses the confluence of the Licking and Muskingum Rivers.
Dinner was pizza at the Weasel Boy Brewing Company
Misty to rainy weather today.
We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Zanesville, OH.

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