Dover Things to Do
"World's Master Carver", Ernest Warther, presents an amzaing display of hand-carved wonders. Using only a knife, files and native ingenuity, he carved the history of steam locomotives and trains dating from 250 B.C. to the present day.
Admission Fees: $8.50 – Adults
Hours of Operation: Open seven days a week 9 - 5. Last guided tour starts at 4 p.m.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Dover Flea Market, the area's largest indoor flea market open year round. Saturday, 9-5; Sunday, 10-5
It has been somewhat over 20 years sine I visited the Warther museum in Dover, Ohio. I can't tell you what things are like now, but I can tell you what things were like then, and tell you that if they are now anything like they were then, this museum is worth the visit.
Ernest Warther was an immigrant from Europe and only had a 2nd grade education. His hobby was wood carving, and from his interest in the steam locomotive he carved out of wood, bone and ivory working models that depict the history of the steam engine all the way from Hero of Alexandria's efforts in ancient Egypt to fairly recent machines. While many of his models are railroad models, there are others as well (certainly Hero of Alexandria didn't build any steam locomotives!).
A number of locomotives and trains important in the history of the USA were created by Warther, including a model of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train - the locomotive, tender, and all three passenger cars.
If possible, it would be good to bring a camera that gives good long exposure photos. A five second or longer exposure would be a great way to see the working of the locomotive mechanism and the other operating wood carvings. Video cameras are OK, but a long exposure photo showing some blurred mechanism parts look really interesting. The artifacts are behind glass, so flash photography will not work.
It used to be that Warther would talk to every visitor that visited the museum, and while he was talking to them he would carve a functioning pliars out of a piece of wood, and then give it to them as a gift. While Warther had died by the time I visited this museum as a child, the tradition had continued into the 1980s to the point where they did give out wooden pliars to those visiting the museum. I still have my wooden pliars from there, kept safely in a drawer. They are an amazing demonstration of the wood crafter's skill.
I don't have any photos. I don't know if photos are even allowed in the museum any more, but see their web site for a few photos of the items.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
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