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Benchmark

The project has reached some sort of benchmark, I suppose.

In computer parlance, there are “spiders” working even as you read this, scavenging information from the world-wide web and adding it to various information websites, some of which may even charge for access to what they’ve gathered for free. Oh, we do live in the Information Age.

Needing to gather the random postings I’ve made concerning the Kraus family, Agincourt’s early ironmogers, a google search [odd how that’s become a verb, isn’t it?] yielded an address-book citation for Anton Kraus, founder of Agincourt’s branch of the family. Folks seeking genealogical references to their long lost ancestor Anton Kraus are going to wonder when and why he’d made that detour to northwestern Iowa. Have I done something perverse? I certainly hope so.

Krause Bridge & Iron may very well show up in listings of American business, too. I’m chuckling now, because that would add even more frosting to the cake.

Tony Kraus

The snapshot is too casual, too matter-of-fact, and the object itself is incomplete. But soon I’ll be able to post a more worthy photo of the wrought iron column capital from Agincourt’s 1915 public library. In the meantime, though, there will be time to flesh out the story of its creation—the real one and the one for Agincourt’s historical record.

Six years now I’ve been on a quest for ironmongery, someone who could get into the head of a World War I-vintage blacksmith. Then, last September I was chatting with a second-year student in our department. I wondered how his summer had gone; whether he’d made some cash for school. “No,” he told me, “I spend a lot of time at my forge.” You can search for something very rare, and then, when you least expect it, that rarity knocks at your very door. Christopher Meyer took my miniscule sketch (shown below) for the Sullivanesque wrought iron wreath I’d seen in my head and ran with it in ways I could not have taken. So, believe me when I claim to run with scissors and not play well with others: it makes this collaboration borderline miraculous.

Columncap

There are scarce few people who “get” what Agincourt is about. While all are welcome to come and play, the resonance of some is palpable.

PS: If you want to read a little about the Kraus family, look here for an introduction.


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