2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Dover, Ohio - Warther Museum

I had never heard of Ernest "Mooney" Warther but he is very famous for his knives and his carvings.  Have you ever heard of Warther Knifes?   We went to the Warther Museum in Dover, Ohio.

We entered from the lower parking lot looking up at the Warther home.

The path lead up to Mooney's workshop (small white building) with the attached museum.

In the lobby we saw some displays made of buttons.  Mrs. Warther collected buttons.

She collected more than 73,000 buttons.

Mooney started out whittling tools out of wood.  Do you see the pointed piece of wood below the interconnected pliers?  This piece is also carved into an identical interconnection of pliers.

When Mooney traveled he send home carved postcards.

Whittling and carving were Mooney's hobbies.  His main job was working in the steel mill.  He made two carvings of the mill.  The white pieces are ivory.  He even carved long chains of ivory.

There were mirrors under each display so we could see the gears and pulleys that made the figures move.

Yes they all moved.  From this alcohol swilling coal shoveler to the pie-eating guy on the other side of the display.  Remember all the white pieces are made from ivory and the rest is wood.

Most of the carvings were made from this oak log harvested by Mooney and friends.

One train was completely dismantled and on display.  Train engineers looked Mooney's trains apart and said that the models were operationally perfect in every way. 

Some of the materials used to make the trains. 

Mooney and his wife loved kids and he made lots of toys for them.

63 pair of pliers that will fold back to the piece of wood that they were carved from.

Continuous links of wood chain and a cane that has caged balls in five different sections.

Mooney started making kitchen knives when times were lean.  These are some of the first ones he carved.

A photo of the steel mill where Mooney worked.

Some more materials used in the carvings.  Walrus and elephant ivory and ebony, some very hard wood.

Not to be left out, Mooney's son carved these pliers with a chain saw.

Click to enlarge so you can see the details.

I had to add my finger to this photo so you can see how small this set of pliers is.

Some of these are made out of matchsticks.

Matchstick pliers.

Mooney took a piece of wood like this...

and made the 500+ plier tree that sticks out of this carving.

Mooney carved out every steam operated engine every built.

Mooney's ebony masterpiece

Some of the details.

There are 64 trains in total.

A team of world class carvers named Mooney the "world's best carver".

I need to add that most of these trains have wheels that are moving.  This train has been running for over 100 years.

This was my favorite.  The walnut had a terrific pattern.

Remember, he carved every steam engine he could identify.

This train is made entirely of ivory, a very hard material to carve.



Mooney was a big fan of Abraham Lincoln.  This is a carving of a letter that Lincoln received from a Mother that had lost sons in the Civil War.

This is a carving of the funeral train of Abraham Lincoln.

The final car even had an ivory carving of Lincoln in a casket.

This was the last train that Mooney every worked on.  He never finished it and didn't want anyone else to finish it either.

Then we were lead down to some windows where we could observe Mooney's descendants making knifes.

After the factory, we had to go through the gift shop to leave the building.  Of course their knives were on sale there.  Looking at the price, I don't know if I could afford them.

Notice the strings of buttons hanging on the walls of the Warther home.

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