Oddities at the Clabber Girl Bakery

I shouldn’t have been surprised. The Clabber Girl Museum is a quirky little place, with different historic artifacts housed together. But technically I wasn’t in the museum. I was in a back room of the bakery.

On one side of the room, behind a glass wall sat a huge mechanical engine, harking back to a bygone day. A Cracker-Wheeler Dynamo DC generator built in 1886. This machine that generated energy for the building used electro magnetic induction. Dynamos like this one were the first electrical generators used by industry. Hulman & Company used this DC generator from 1893-1961 (!).

The second oddity in this back room was smack-dab in the middle of the room: an Otis hydraulic elevator. This particular elevator was a water-driven elevator from the early 1900s, one of the last in Indiana. Kind of cool to see. I know the Otis name from my time in Bloomington, back when Otis Elevator was an employer in this liberal arts college town.

I’m not sure how many dynamos you may encounter, particularly Cracker-Wheeler Dynamos. (I have found nothing about Cracker-Wheeler, which I presume is the company name.) But take a look at the name of the next elevator you are in. I bet it will be an Otis.


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