Mr. Cooper’s Miniature Steamer (May, 1956)
Mr. Cooper’s Miniature Steamer
From cab to cowcatcher this baby iron horse is all there.
Photographed for MI by Peter Gowland.
FOR W.A. COOPER of Arcadia, Calif., an ex-Canadian Pacific machinist, small steam locomotives have been a lifetime preoccupation. At 14 he built a model engine entirely of wood; the smooth little American 4-4-0 he now operates is a far cry from that. Reconstructed from a blueprint of a locomotive built in 1880 and used on the Bedford and Bloomfield Railroad, Indiana, his present model may very well be a better engine than its original. Besides hand tooling all components down to the tiny valves, hinges and screws, Cooper developed a special water pump for it. All fixtures are brass and the boiler is copper. With a real coal fire in its Lilliputian firebox and a good head of steam, the locomotive can do 15 mph, pull six people loaded on small flat cars. Special coal is imported from Wales.