Hello all! This is Cameron, one of the Key Room museum curators at the Baldpate Inn this season, wishing all the proud papas a Happy Father’s Day!
For such a special day I wanted to present a unique key that is special in its own way called the Boilermaker Special Key, or the BMS 5. This artifact comes all the way from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. *Interesting Fact about Purdue University: The school has produced 23 astronauts, which includes Neil Armstrong, the first American to walk on the moon.
For those not familiar with Purdue, their nickname is the Boilermakers, with their mascot being the Boilermaker Special. Resembling a Victorian-era locomotive, though operated as an automobile to be driven on streets, the idea for the mascot was suggested by Purdue Student Israel Selkowitz in 1939 who, along with the school board, thought it best represented the school, especially its engineering and railroad heritage. The first model of the Boilermaker Special was created in 1940 and was operated by a driver with room for a passenger. A few models later the Boilermaker Special Five was created on September 23, 1993. Student members of the Purdue Reamer Club have operated and maintained the BMS models.
This version of the mascot came equipped with nostalgia as it had installed the brass bell from the BMS 1 along with the brass whistle from the BMS 3. Able to hold up to 14 passengers, the BMS 5 was able to “kneel” which provided easier access for young children and the elderly to hop on and enjoy a ride. The BMS 5 was discontinued in 2011 in favor for newer model. We here at the Baldpate Inn are very honored by the Purdue Reamer Club’s donation and proud to showcase this memento in our Key Room along with a letter of authentication which provides a brief history on the BMS 5 for visitors.