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How It Works: Casting Iron Toys
December 22, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Coinciding with NMIH’s holiday cast iron toy exhibit is a special “How It Works” presentation with NMIH Historian Mike Piersa on the process of casting toys and other products. Created by skilled workers using a foundry method called sand casting, the toys became popular in the latter half of the 19th century as they used ingredients that were inexpensive at the time, similar to today’s plastic toys. This illustrated presentation will trace the process from furnace to finished product and will feature a small live demonstration, melting tin, to show how the foundry process uses patterns and sand molds to create goods.
A special guest, Bill Winecker, a volunteer with the Black River Railroad Historical Trust, will also join us to describe how the average person can have their own castings made in modern times. He made a pattern and coordinated the casting of reproduction builder’s plates for Black River & Western Railroad steam locomotive #60. By combining one of the 150 foundries operating in Pennsylvania, some basic knowledge, skills, and a modest investment, anyone can bring their idea to life.
This demonstration, part of the museum’s ongoing “How It Works” series that takes place on the fourth Sunday of every month, is designed to help patrons further understand of specific facets of industrial history. Admission for the “How It Works” tour is $5 in addition to regular museum admission.