Life is too short not to have fun.

    In the early 1980s, the Milwaukee Brewer’s baseball play-by-play announcer Bob Uecker had a serious heart attack.

    The Milwaukee Journal’s Sunday supplement magazine ran a feature on Bob and his recovery.  At the end of the article, the usually funny Uecker suddenly got serious in talking about what the heart attack meant to him.  He said, "I enjoy having a good time, you know, I really do [because] [t]here's not enough time, man. All of a sudden, you know, you're old and dead.  You gotta have a good time."

    In other words:

If you don’t like what you are doing, quit and go find something you like.

    I was, as my “biography” indicates, extraordinarily fortunate to have stumbled into museums so very early in my career, indeed at the very beginning (not counting my very first job at Roy Rogers as a “Utility Man” on the 5:00 PM to 3:00 AM shift). 

    One of the positive aspects of my tenure at the University of Delaware was reading the medieval historian, Lynn White, Jr.  I quoted White, one of my favorite historians, in the introduction to my dissertation and book, Ingenious Yankees: The Rise of the American System of Manufactures in the Private Sector.  White was writing about the history of technology, a scholarly discipline then in its infancy.  "The most important thing that can be said about any scholarly pursuit is that it is fun.  The history of technology is, emphatically, fun."[1]

My adventure with these Stanley Steamers grows out of my interest in the History of Technology.  I bring a scholarly attitude to their documentation and restoration, an attitude colored by Lynn White, Jr. and Bob Uecker.



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[1]  Lynn White, Jr., "The Discipline of the History of Technology," Journal of Engineering Education, (January, 1964), 54 (10): 349-351.

© Donald R. Hoke 2006  All Rights Reserved.