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Miniature Engineering Museum showcases human ingenuity

Many RVers are skilled craftsmen or craftspersons. They have the ability, patience, skill, knowledge and interest to begin, address and complete craftsmanship projects even while on the road. Others may maintain a workshop in their more permanent residence.

Whether you are blessed with “craftsmanship” ability or are a completely ungifted observer, most of us can appreciate and thoroughly enjoy a few hours of touring the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, Calif.

More than 1,000 separate items, built to a miniature scale, are on display. Many are working models while other exhibits are precisely crafted replicas of buildings, machinery and vehicles, including boats and aircraft. Whether constructed of metal, wood, plastics or a combination thereof, the precision is the very important aspect of the craftsmanship.

Displays include a P – 38 fighter of World War II vintage, model speedboats, various tiny fuel powered engines, a 1/6 scale 1932 Dusenberg SJ touring car that actually runs. Model trains and several miniature dollhouses are on display. A hands-on demonstration of several fuel powered engines is ably led by a member of the museum staff at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship and Shurline Products, a manufacturer of miniature machine tools, are sponsors of this museum. An online museum is also available at

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Contributions to the museum have been donated by benefactors from all over the world, and visitors to this museum also come from all four corners of the world. Craftsman from virtually every walk of life have exhibits in the museum. Many of these craftsmen have been well trained as engineers, scientists, doctors and machinists. Others have developed their crafts without any special or particular training, but have tremendous skills as demonstrated by the multitude of exhibits.

The museum welcomes the opportunity to evaluate collections or examples of precision, miniature craftsmanship. Only those of the highest quality are accepted for display.

This interesting and unique free miniature museum is located at 3190 Lion’s Head Road in Carlsbad, Calif. It is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is recommended as a day trip for RVers and others who may be near the intersection of California 78 and I-5 in Carlsbad, California.

Nearby RV parks are located at the San Elio State Park, Cardiff by the Sea and at Carlsbad State Park. Additional RV parks are found in Vista, San Marcos, Escondido and San Diego.

The online museum associated with this craftsmanship museum has exceptional photos and descriptions of the display. See for an excellent introduction and followup to your personal visit to this unusual museum.

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About Dr. Bob Gorden

Dr. Bob Gorden is an RVer, hiker and writer. He has a PhD in microbial ecology from the University of Georgia in Athens. He is a retired research scientist from the University of Illinois Natural History Survey. He has owned and operated more than 55 RVs of various types, and has visited every state, except Hawaii, in his RV. He also traveled by RV in New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. He currently owns and travels in a 1978 GMC 26-foot Class A and 2013 Thor ACE 30.1 Class A motorhome. He has a compelling desire to be “On the Road Again!”

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