This hand-cranked animated toy is called, “The Gym.” When the hand crank is turned, the hand-carved wooden figures perform different exercises like pushups, situps, hula-hooping, weight lifting, riding a stationary bike, and using a vibrating machine. Underneath, a clever series of rods on cams drive the momentum above.
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.