Penngrove Power & Implement Museum
July, 2005

It's been two years since I've been to this place and, sure enough, it was the weekend one of my best buds had come by to help out on the Art Car Project. Bottom line: I was in and out of the Museum in less than an hour. Still and all I did take a few interesting pics and quite a few mpegs. When I figure out how to upload movies without killing browsers I'll append a few of them here.

Sadly the museum is only open to the public one day a year, although I'm told arrangements to visit can be made from time to time. Best way to get open access would be to volunteer! As yet, in true Luddite mode, the museum has no web presence, no email, etc but after a brief chat with one of the volunteers I understand there's hope on the horizon. Meanwhile for those who would like to support their work the annual membership subscription is $30 and the address is:

Penngrove Power and Implement Museum
45 Crestway
Penngrove, CA 94951
Phone: (707) 795-4849

Photo #1: Bucolic overview from the (free!) parking lot; it actually took three photos to take it all in but I haven't the patience to stitch them together, heh.
Photo #2: Waiting its turn to be restored: an 1897 Russel traction engine along the way to the entrance.
Photo #3: Todd and Fran Guldenbrein drove this beautiful Stanley all the way from Vallejo for the occasion. Here Todd is preparing to give a few lucky folks another ride around the neighborhood.
Photo #4: First half of a short but interesting row of vehicles that turned up for the occasion.
Photo #5: Second half; I have no idea what kind of sedan that might be. It reminds me a little of the old Nash Ramblers that used to be given away on the lame TV game shows of the '50s.
Photo #6: Gil Smith of Santa Cruz, Ca brought along this 1930s era vacuum pump, a milking machine.
Photo #7: One of those "what the heck is that?" ideas; looks like a good one! Don't know who built it, but for something even stranger in this vein check out Bart Smallder's Robot Rickshaw project!
Photo #8: A nicely made pair of Stirling engines. No sign of ownership or any other details to be had tho...
Photo #9: Ain't it a beauty? The big prime mover for all of the overhead shafting that delivers power, via leather belt, to the numerous contraptions on the shop floor of the big barn. When it first fires up the exhaust pipe sticking through the West wall of the barn shoots big beautiful blue smokerings across the meadow.
Photo #10: Looking out across the shop floor, a glimpse of just some of the belts and how their runs are routed.
Photo #11: A volunteer demonstrates the operation of an old 16-spindle cord making machine. This particular one has a bit of history in its background, as it was used to product the parachute shrouds for the Apollo spacecraft. Fascinating to watch the spindles dance around!
Photo #12: Close-up of the business end of the braiding machine. The one red spindle allows the eye to follow the serpentine path all the threads must make to produce a given weave. By changing the shift lever position (lower right, on the base of the machine) the weave can be varied to produce either round or flat cord.
Photo #13: A nice old Hicks marine engine prepares for another session of thump-thump-thumping..
Photo #14: A selection of nautical items, including some fascinating old outboard motors. Hope they get some of these babies chugging on display soon!
Photo #15: One fellow was giving a demonstration of the bookbinder's art. With any luck there will be many more such demonstrations of vintage crafts appearing at future open days.

Yes, there was more and no, I didn't have any more time! In all, a fun visit but it would have been even more fun if I could have stayed long enough to schmooze with un-met friends who seem to be gravitating to this great little museum in increasing numbers. With luck I'll have more time for photo snapping next time, too!

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