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The Iron Giant

Models of physical objects never fascinate as much as when they are displayed in versions much smaller or much more gigantic than normal. World’s fairs and trade shows have used them in an endless variety of ways, like the 13-acre reproduction of Jerusalem at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. The holy-city replica came complete with sites for the Garden of Gethsemane, Solomon’s Temple, and the Crucifixion.

With its 1,200 workers building more than 76,000 cast-iron stoves annually, the Michigan Stove Co. wanted an equally mammoth presence at Chicago's 1893 World Columbian Exposition. Measuring 25-by-30 feet, a replica of its popular Garland model was built from 15 tons of carved oak painted black and silver to imitate the stoves' nickel-plated veneer. After the expo, the company relocated the stove to its Detroit headquarters, then in 1965 to the Michigan State Fairgrounds. On that location in 2000, the Antique Stove Association fittingly held its annual convention beneath the vast and vintage Garland.

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