If you ever marveled at the giant Hulett ore unloaders that once stood along Whiskey Island, you're going to love this.
A local organization hoping to create an Ohio Museum of Transportation and Industry is selling limited-edition 1:48 scale models of the iconic metal monsters. But brace yourself for some sticker shock. The amazingly detailed, 24-inch-tall replicas cost $5,495.
"There's a group of people in the world who are collectors of fine scale models of anything, especially if there's a history to it," explains museum organizer Steven Wolken, who says four models were ordered within days of going on sale.
Designed using original blueprints, the Hulett replicas have the same moving parts as the full-size, and now-disassembled, cranes that revolutionized the speed at which Great Lakes barges could be unloaded.
It's an unorthodox way to generate funds, but the sale of all 100 models would raise $100,000 for the museum, Wolken says, and having startup capital will make the organization more likely to receive grants and other funding. The first step is making the 50 sales needed to get production rolling.
"We think once we have produced these models in any quantity, they will help us sell all of them very quickly," Wolken says. "We have the prototype, ... but it's not the same as having the actual finished product in your hands."