This hand-cranked animated toy is called, “Scatter Gather.” Turning the crank causes a series of heads on sticks to go out of alignment. Continued cranking disorients them from each other as cams drive each one on a different path; however, after several turns they all come back into perfect alignment.
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.