In this clever invention, a steam engine drives a bottle brush in and out of a bottle neck for cleaning. The rotary motion of the flywheel is converted by an eccentric to move the bottle brush horizontally. Casting patterns and castings were made by Birk. A brass plaque notes that it was completed in June 2011. Though the engine will function for its intended purpose, we believe that it was built more for humor than as a practical invention. 

Mr. Petersen created a vast array of projects over his lifetime, ranging from miniature engines to hand-cranked animations and more. He built functional miniatures like a 1/3 scale Gatling gun or a 1/4 scale Case steam tractor, but he also built mechanical creations for the fun and enjoyment of his family. When Birk passed away in 2015, his family graciously donated over 150 items from his collection for display at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, where they are currently on display. We thank the Petersen family for sharing his extensive collection, which demonstrates the broad interests and many talents of Birk Petersen.

Exhibit added: May 7, 2016 - Last modified: August 17, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship