The museum was dedicated to a shockingly talented wood worker. A bit of history first. Immediately after the civil war the soldiers were relieved of duty and free to go home. Unfortunately there was no free transportation and the soldiers were on their own, often dead broke, to get back home. They moved in droves from town to town on their journey's. Locals referred to these soldiers as "Home Bound", Ho-Bo for short. During the great depression the word Ho-Bo took on a different meaning. At a young age Ernest "Mooney" Warther became friends with one of the Ho-Bo's. His new friend showed Mooney how to cut working wooden pair of pliers out of a single piece of wood. Mooney was fascinated and worked on the skill so that he too could accomplish this task. The pliers are cut with a carving knife and there is no waste, shavings, or saw dust. Mooney later developed a special carving knife with interchangeable blades. Not being satisfied with a single pair of pliers from a single piece of wood he ended up caving a pliers tree. I forget how many perfect cuts and or how many pliers are made from this single piece of wood but it is astonishing. No one has been able to duplicate it. FWIW Mooney only had a second grade education so there were no advanced math skills from his education.
This picture shows the pliers tree and if you look at the bottom right corner you see a sample of the chunk of wood that the tree was made from. The block of wood looks a bit like a missile.
A closer look. Click the picture to zoom in. Remember, no waste from any of the cuts.
Moving on Mooney developed a fascination with locomotives. The following links are to the trains he carved. The wood used was walnut and ebony. Early on the white pieces were made from bleached soup bones. Later on he replaced the bone parts with ivory. Very little glue was used as glue back then had a short life. Most all are functional and snap together. Many of the train models wheels and drive lines were actually moving when I took the pictures. Scale is perfect.
A model of the train that carried Lincoln to his burial site.
Other shots. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/46230769031/in/photostream/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/31292084897/in/photostream/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/44413806040/in/photostream/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/lcb11211/45507046684/in/photostream/