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Sunday, July 4, 2021

WMATMA Great Beginnings: The Rival Bucket Stave Machine

By Don Arndt

The RIVAL Company, manufacturers of small appliances, had a factory in Clinton, Missouri that specialized in making Ice Cream Freezers using wooden buckets.

In 1997 the company contacted WMATMA and offered their bucket stave machines to us to set up at our living history museum.

Several men traveled with trailers to retrieve all the equipment, which included much more than just the stave cutting tooling that we thought we were getting. The gift included several large machines, everything needed to build a wooden bucket from stock wood and wire.

The only stipulation for us having all the equipment was we had to promise we would never make buckets to sell. We could run it for demonstration, but never profit from it.

All the machines are running with flat belts using line shafts which is powered from one engine. The flat belt line shafts turning runs all the different machines at once, each one doing a separate operation even a ring fabrication machine. At Frontier Village all the line shafting in the building is being driven by a 1940 International auxiliary power plant with a Continental flat head engine. After we hauled all the huge machines to Frontier Village, we had to build a building just to house it all. One of our most prized members and a machinist/wood worker/builder Charlie Forester, with some help, put it all together and made it operational. It is a very impressive display to see.

Much appreciation to the men that moved it all over to Frontier Village and a special thanks to Charlie Forester for building all the shafting and setting up the entire display.

Thanks to the RIVAL Company for this wonderful gift.

Sadly, the wood working and mechanical genius, Charlie Forester passed away November 28th 2015