Travel with a purpose

Historic gadgets big and small

Here’s something really cool, very instructive and genuinely Midwestern, authentically American for your bucket list. Fun, too, as an easy challenge for you and your family and/or friends to complete this list.

Visit these nearby landmarks in mechanical engineering history, the closest among the many fascinating gadgets big and small (ok, mostly humongous) featured in “Machines That Made History: Landmarks in Mechanical Engineering” by Jennifer M. Black, sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineering History & Heritage Committee.

It’s a fascinating, easy read with great pictures, available for purchase under the Shop ASME tab at www.asme.org (choose Books from the pop-up menu). You can indulge your inner nerd or purchase a wonderful gift for a mechanically inclined person you love while supporting ASME, the wonderful people whose work makes our lives easier and keeps us safer.

Below is a list of 12 towns and cities within an easy drive of Fort Wayne where important mechanical engineering landmarks are located. You can get more information at the ASME website under the About ASME if you choose Who We Are from the pop-up menu, then Engineering History, then Landmarks. All of these sites are on the list of National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmarks.

State Line Generating Unit 1, 1929, Hammond, Ind. (No. 24 on the list)

Multiple items at the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Mich. (Nos. 48. 49, 81, 95, 138, 233)

First Hot Isostatic Processing Vessels, 1956, and Xerography, 1949, Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio (Nos. 103 and 88)

Basic-Oxygen Steel Melting Vessel, 1955, Trenton, Mich. (No. 104)

Detroit Edison District Heating System, Beacon Street, 1903, Detroit, Mich. (No. 105)

Buckeye Steam Traction Ditcher, 1902, Hancock Historical Museum, Findlay, Ohio (No. 133)

Pin-Ticketing Machine, 1902, Avery Dennis/Monarch Marking Systems, Miamsburg, Ohio (No. 150)

Jeep Model MB, 1941, Chrysler Motors, Toledo, Ohio (No. 152)

Wright Field 5-Foot Wind Tunnel, 1921, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (No. 183)

Wright Flyer III, 1905, Dayton History at Carillon Historic Park, Dayton, Ohio (No. 224)

Rumely Companies’ Agricultural Products, 1908, LaPorte, Ind. (No. 225)

Grumman Wild-cat “Sto-wing” folding mechanism, 1942, Air Zoo, Kalamazoo, Mich. (No. 238)

Do not forget to take your camera along on these trips!

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