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Doing the tourist thing at two great museums


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Posted 21 October 2014 - 04:28 PM

Since we've decided to stay a day in Denver and play tourist, this morning we drove out to Golden to visit the highly-regarded Colorado Railroad Museum, started in the late 1940s by a seminal figure in the rail preservation movement, the late Bob Richardson.
 
The museum is a must-visit site for anyone into the history of narrow-gauge and/or Colorado railroading. It has a terrific collection of locomotives and rolling stock, as well as lots of original signage and paper ephemera, and features a number of changing interpretive displays. There's also an extremely well-done HO model railroad in the basement of the main building, with Colorado scenery, of course. Here's a few random pics from CRM.
 
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Denver & Rio Grande Western No. 318, a 2-8-0 built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia in 1896.
 
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Denver & Rio Grande Western Nos. 5771 & 5762, the last EMD F-Units to operate on the Rio Grande.
 
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The 2-8-0 Denver Leadville & Gunnison No. 191 is the oldest preserved steam locomotive in Colorado. It was built by Baldwin in 1880.
 
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Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose No. 7, the seventh of a series home-built "locomotives" the RGS cobbled together in the 1930s to keep things moving when they couldn't afford to operate steam. CRM has three of the seven "Geese" that were built and all have been designated National Historic Landmarks.
 
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A shot (made through glass) showing just one small section of CRM's model railroad, created and maintained by the Denver HO Model Railroad Club.


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





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Posted 21 October 2014 - 05:24 PM

At the suggestion of a volunteer at the Colorado Railroad Museum, we ventured over to the Forney Transportation Museum back in Denver. Little did we know that we would discover a couple of links to slot racing there, albeit tenuous ones...

 

This is a very good museum featuring not just cars, among them some very rare and unusual cars, but a few trains as well, including one of the Union Pacific "Big Boy" locomotives, UP 4005, which at 560 tons is the largest steam locomotive ever constructed.

 

One of the most notable of the cars is Amelia Earhart's 1923 Kissel "Gold Bug" Speedster. After her parents divorced, Earhart and her mother decided to move from LA to Boston and they traveled across the US in this very car, which was rather sedate and unremarkable in "Roaring Twenties" Los Angeles, but which drew great attention during their trip, probably because of its bright chrome yellow color. Earhart named this car the "Yellow Peril" and it is said that she drove it with great speed and daring. Kissel speedsters are capable of 70 MPH plus, which made them very fast cars for the time. Earhart owned the car until her death.

 

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The Forney Museum also houses the only Kissel Double-Six V12 car I have even seen, a model produced only in 1917-18.

 

As we were exiting the museum, I asked the docent, "Just who was this Forney guy, anyway?"

 

"Why, he invented the electric soldering iron."

 

Sure enough, in 1932 James Donovan Forney went into business for himself selling "The Forney Instant Heat Soldering Iron" door to door across the heartland. Perhaps scratchbuilders should say a prayer for J. D. Forney every time they fire up their Wellers and Hakkos, for without him, we'd still be heating big copper-tipped soldering irons in furnaces to do our building.

 

The museum also features, as do most museums, a little gift shop in the entryway and one of the things that caught my eye was a series of bins with a great variety of car magazines for sale, marked fifty cents apiece and buy one, get one. Most of the issues were modern newsstand mags like Road & Track, but there was also a pretty good selection of collector car club magazines, some of them dating back into the '60s.

 

While flipping through to see what was there, I was pleasantly surprised to spot the April 1981 issue of Special Interest Autos containing the Sunbeam Tiger DriveReport I authored for them. Well, that was worth fifty cents to me!

I also picked up a couple of '70s copies of the Packard Automobile Club's Cormorant magazine, then being edited by my friend Dick Langworth, whom I have mentioned in the discussion thread, and a couple of '60s Antique Automobile mags published by the AACA.

 

I needed one more magazine to have an even number for my BOGO, so I select a 1995 copy of the Bulb Horn magazine, which is the club publication of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America. And when I flipped through the issue, look at the picture I spotted on page 23!

 

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Checking the roster of participants confirmed it was indeed "Ken MacDowell (the correct spelling of his surname), of Strongsville, OH."

 

Small world, as they say.            


  • triggerman, Michael Rigsby, Steve McCready and 2 others like this

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap






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