Monday, May 5, 2014

Nick's Powder Keg Museum of Treasures, Utica, Indiana

Located in Utica, Indiana, we found this neat private collection on a recent trip through the area.  Join us as we look at the interesting artifacts and architecture on display at this hidden local treasure.  We must point out that this is a private collection, and that it is not always open.  Check their Facebook page for various public events, and do not trespass to see anything on your own. 

The first thing that will grab the attention of most visitors is the collection of train cars parked out front.  All of the ones out in the immediate front are from the old Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, INAAP.

Interior of the locomotive cab.  Note the various control levers.  I bet this was a blast to drive.

A flat car from INAAP, complete with some rolling carts for transporting stuff at the plant.  Another, similar car and locomotive turned up at a museum in La Grange, Kentucky.

Another flat car, this one loaded with storage drums, still sporting their original paint.

Another type of train car.  This one is new to me.  Its some sort of inter-plant transport.

The cars look to have been made at American Car and Foundry Company.  AC&F produced a variety of products during World War Two, including M3 Stuart Tanks and different types of artillery.

A standard safety feature of train cars today, a Janney coupler holds the various cars together.  These were a massive improvement over earlier "link and pin" devices that severed many fingers over the years.

Another locomotive, painted up for INAAP use.  This style is pretty tough to find as well.

Interior shot of the same car.  I'm not sure what this is model is for.  Any guesses?

A generator, placed on a large flat car.  It too is marked up for use at INAAP.

A railroad track/signal device.  All in all, pretty neat stuff.

Also out front is this large Ferris wheel type thing.  It doesn't have seat, so I don't know if its really one or not.

Anyone here remember the old Sportsdrome Speedway in Jeffersonville IN?  Yea, that's the sign from it.  Awesome.

Painted glass display, showing the process by which power was generated at INAAP.

 More glass panels, showing various parts of the process at INAAP, in no particular order.

Other INAAP stuff, scattered around the interior of the museum.  We must repeat and stress that this is a private collection.  Do not trespass to access it.

To keep up with us, be sure to "Like" us on Facebook or follow us on Blogger.  Thanks again!


  1. That scoreboard came from the Sportsdrome Speedway in Jeffersonville IN in operation since 1947.

    1. My bad, correction noted. I was misinformed.

    2. Sportsdrome is one of Indiana's true treasures. Magnificent short track with some very talented drivers.

  2. The yellow railroad car is known as a Motor Car, or more commonly a "Speeder." A speeder is a maintenance of way motorized vehicle formerly used on railroads around the world by track inspectors and work crews to move quickly to and from work sites. Most run on gasoline. They were replaced in 1990 in the U.S. by pickup trucks fitted for rails. Here's a video of one:

  3. Just a side note Fred's post - Pick-up trucks fitted for rail travel were around before the 90's. I was inspecting rails in them in the early 80's and I don't believe it was new then, but I don't know the year that they first were used.

  4. Cars and trucks have been fitted with railroad wheels since the early 20th Century. I have seen pictures of Track inspectors on the rails in their Ford Model Ts.