I’ve been studying miniatures at the Victorian-era World’s Fairs for years now and there are a few of the objects displayed that are my favorite. One is a mini-steam engine displayed in 1876 next to the gigantic Corliss steam engine which was the largest in the world at the time (or so they said…). The mini-engine was not an official entry but was put next to the Corliss engine by a man visiting from. Iowa.

As described by one of the news stories, September 1876:

andersonintelligencer9-7-1876

I never had any hopes of seeing the actual object, thinking it was long lost. But then I did a search on a great new Google site, Google Arts and Culture, and there it was! It is now in the collection of The Henry Ford museum. This Google site is a great way to see other museum miniatures like the ones I have been talking about.

1876 mini steam engine

 

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The Corliss engine 1876