A Shower of Elfs

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The original Elf photos on this page were provided by Miles Prentice. The engine was designed by Dan Calkin and built in his home in Portland, Oregon, between 1939 and 1956. Dan's design is one, if not the earliest examples of modular model engine design. This allowed him to build single cylinder and multi-cylinder engines from his basic components. All the more amazing is that all facets of construction were handled by Dan and his family in his very well structured and orgainzed basement workshop. A very comprehensive history if the man and his engines was published in John Borwn's book, Dan Calkin and his Elfs, subtitled, He Never Called Then Elves!.


Hopefully I can be forgiven for the collective noun applied to the Elfs. Dan made them initially in Portland and I've lived there. Trust me, the Pacific North-West in general and the Willamette Valley in particular are not the driest places on earth, but it always feels like second home to me never the less.


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