This miniature Peerless traction engine was built at a scale of 1-1/4″:1′. Like Rudy’s Prairie locomotive, this model is alcohol fired, and its safety valve is set at 75 psi. Rudy took photos of a full-size Peerless traction engine to use for the design and construction of this model.

The miniature traction engine has a double-acting engine with a cylinder bore of 5/8”, and a piston stroke of 1”. The gear reduction to drive the rear wheels is 22 to 1. Rudy made a three-note chime steam whistle for this model, which makes a pleasant and realistic sound.

One of the first large donations to the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum was the collection of famed model engine builder Rudy Kouhoupt. Rudy’s niece, Susan Alvaro, was kind enough to donate his entire lifetime engine collection for display at the grand opening of the museum in 2006. After retiring as a chemist, Rudy had a second career building engines and writing magazine articles documenting the process. Many people have built his models, but we have the honor of displaying all of his original prototypes. Rudy’s collection includes scale model engines, locomotives, tractors and more. Additionally, thirteen of Rudy’s model steam engines are hooked up to run on compressed air to demonstrate their function. 

Exhibit added: May 20, 2006 - Last modified: June 4, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship