Welcome to Warther's!

Nestled in the hillside of Dover, Ohio you will find the home of Ernest & Frieda Warther.  It is a quaint as the nearby communities of European immigrants.  This residence and Swiss-style surrounding buildings are simple and the gardens are peaceful. 

Signs of Spring are Hopping Around!

Play Yard







The 'cave' was built for child's play!

Backyard playground!

Ernest “Mooney” Warther began his life’s adventures at the age of 5 when while tending to the cows (hence the nickname “Mooney”) discovered a pocketknife on the ground.  He began to whittle and discovered the importance of knives.  His first job was at a nearby tin factory.  He even created the first reinforced shoe but choose not to patent it.  Mooney was a visionary genius. 

Wooden Pliers

Despite only having an education to 2nd grade, he could look at a block of wood and see how the wood could be transformed into something.  Mooney began his artistry with a simple but baffling pair of pliers.  Created from a 3 inch piece of basswood with 10 cuts of wood in 1 minutes.  Here is Mooney’s grandson as he carries on this tradition for his family.

Mark Warther signs my pliers.







Moonie Warther’s one true passion was to pay homage to the locomotive.  He began creating model replicas of the engines that he loved.  He would work  on the models for about three hours each day and then work on creating cutlery which he sold.  He created his own pocketknives and designed interchangeable blades to carve what the Smithsonian claims to be “Priceless works of art!” 

The First Locomotive

The Union Pacific

The locomotives are to scale with movable parts fit together without the use of glue. They operate with a system of belts and pulleys and were originally made from soup bones and various types of wood.

Train in pieces

Model Train Pieces

Eventually Mooney reconstructed many of these pieces using ebony from Africa and different hardnesses of ivory. Even the lettering below the engine display was hand carved and inlayed with ivory.



My favorite part of our visit was the plier tree that was carved in 3 months from the piece of wood like seen on the lower right side of the photograph.  It has 31,000 cuts creating 511 pliers.  Mooney envisioned each cut of wood.  There were no shavings made when he created this.  Amazing for someone with only a 2nd grade education!  He took this plier tree and round tower to the World’s Fair in Chicago, but refused to sell it to Ripley’s traveling showcase.

Plier Tree

One of the button displays




Not only was Mooney talented, but his wife, Frieda, used her button collection of over 100,000 buttons to make beautiful patterns which are hung in Mooney’s old workshop. 

Button House

Another Beautiful Design

The end of the tour is at the bottom of the museum where the family continues to make the Warther cutlery with the trademark swirl. 

Can you see the swirl?

An Example of Warther's Cutlery




Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this attraction and highly recommend it to everyone that’s thinking of planning a visit!  For more information check out their website.

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One Response to “Polly #35-Warther’s is Worth the Trip!”

  1. As wonderful as Mooney’s wood carvings are, I absolutely loved the button designs! I was so inspired by your post that I visited the website and read all about the knives, the woodcarvings, and of course the people involved. Your posts always interest me, and I tend to be left with the feeling that I want to know even more, and that’s exactly what this site is about! Learning about the world and its people! Thank you for being a fantastic Polly poster!