Tin Man was robbed!
He Wuz Robbed!
Daily Hampshiore Gazette. 1958.
He Wuz Robbed of his Arms ~ And no one knows where they are, either.
The tin man, road side curiosity on Route 9 in Leeds, was robbed of his arms by Halloween pranksters and is glumly awaiting their replacement which will be soon. To add insult to injury, he was kicked in the shin, too.
Tin Man Yankee Magazine
The Tin Man
EVERYONE KNOWS THE story of the Tin Man who lost his heart, but few know the story of the tin man who lost his head. He took shape almost 40 years ago as a gimmick to attract customers to an oil and heating-duct company in Haydenville, Massachusetts. For a quarter of a century the 16-foot-tall tin man stood on Route 9 as a landmark grasping a hammer and tin snips. Scores of kids persuaded parents to pull over for a photograph with the tin man.
"The tin man was a monumental thing for a kid," remembers Elbert Ulshoeffer, now 52. When the oil and heating-duct business closed in 1977, Ulshoeffer paid $150 for his childhood memory. To Ulshoeffer, the tin man was not just a gimmick in a 10-gallon tin hat, but rather "a piece of American folk art."
But others treated the landmark with less respect. Shortly after the purchase, pranksters draped polka dotted underwear on the tin man, later made diapers from bedsheets, and in a final act of vandalism, beheaded the tin man with a hacksaw. Ulshoeffer remembers that he and his boys "had a good cry that day." Thinking the tin man was ruined. Ulshoeffer negotiated a trade with Goshen antique stove restorer Richard Richardsonin exchange for some stove grates.
Ricahrdson eventually got the better deal, because seven years after the bargain was made the lost head was spotted atop another oil company 20 miles south of Goshen. The oil company owner had found the tin head in an apartment rented by the vandals.
So after a year in the Smith Vocational School metal shop for repairs, the tin man regained its head at last. Richardson brought him to stand in front of the Good Time Stove Company on Route 112. For Richardson who has devoted the last 15 of his 40 years to restoring the spirit of warmth to to old wood stoves, the tin man also has a spirit. And now, too, a permanent home in Goshen.