Sunday, April 6, 2014

All Aboard!

My great grandfather, Abe Gunzendorfer, was apparently quite a mechanical guy.  I recently ran across some interesting postcards.

Post Card

Now that’s not that interesting but look what’s on the other side!

Station and Power Plant
“Station and Power Plant”
Scene from Miniature Railway System – Window Display 1916
Mechanical and Electrical Construction by A.B. Gunzendorfer

I have a very faint memory of hearing about a railroad train display in The White House, the Gunzendorfer family mercantile.  But now I can see exactly what it looked like.  Or as my Dad would like to say, “now I can visualize it”. 

Here’s some other postcards:

Traffic Scene
“Traffic Scene”
Miniature Railway
Window Display Christmas 1916
Mechanical and Electrical Construction by A.B. Gunzendorfer

Forest Scene
“Forest Scene”
Miniature Railway System
Window Display Xmas 1916
Mechanical and Electrical Construction by A.B. Gunzendorfer

What beautiful work!  And while the next pictures aren’t great, it is interesting to see how the train was displayed in the windows.

Window Display Left Window Display Right

And here’s some other detail – I love how he named it the A.B.G.R.R. for Abe B. Gunzendorfer Railroad.

Abe Gunzendorfer Railroad

I’m not sure the signs above the cars can be read well - the last car says “….Power Plant”, the next car says “Electric Block System – Safety First”, the next car says “Free delivery to all parts of the state”, and the front car says “Train hand-made – Electrified - A.B. Gunzendorfer”.  I can just imagine him working on this train all year long in order to get it ready and on display for the holidays.

A few years ago I wrote about the lawn swing Abe built in 1909 – you can read about it here.   So now not only did Abe build a lawn swing but he also built an entire railroad system.  And one more thing he built – a pigeon house!  Not just any ole pigeon house but a MAMMOTH pigeon house!

Mammoth Pigeon House

Look at that – capacity 600 pigeons!  What in the world could he have done with 600 pigeons?  Or any pigeons, for that matter?  Another question I’m sure I’ll never have the answer to.  Sigh.


  1. 600 pigeons? Maybe Abe was a spy sending messages by carrier pigeon??

  2. How cool Debi! What an exciting find these postcards are. And to see the train display your great-grandfather created is so very special.

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thanks, Jana! Have a great weekend yourself.