Flat Hank’s Summer Adventures

Aug 21, 2019

This summer, our team members helped answer the age-old question, “Where in the world is Flat Hank?” Based on the Flat Stanley concept, Flat Hank is a flattened version of #SafetyHank, our Safety Representative who has a passion for safety and excellence.

Equipped with a portable Safety Hank, U.S. Engineering team members submitted photos of their summer adventures in hopes of winning the Flat Hank Contest. They took Flat Hank with them to 10 states, 4 countries, 30 cities and 2 continents! We created a map (linked here) to show all of the places Hank visited. It’s safe to say it’s been an eventful summer for the U.S. Engineering team.

The contest’s selection committee received over 60 entries, and their decision was so difficult, thanks to the amazing photos, that they were forced to choose two winners:

Congratulations to Shane Pouch, Manager of Project Controls, and David Golden, Plumbing Production Manager, the 2019 Flat Hank Contest champs!

About the Winners

Shane Pouch & Flat Hank in Cologne, Germany

Shane Pouch’s winning photo was taken in Cologne, Germany, in front of the building that, about 165 years ago, housed a small shop called Nottberg Machine Works. That shop was owned and operated by Gustav Nottberg, who moved to Kansas City and founded Nottberg Iron and Machine Works in 1893. That company eventually changed its name to U.S. Engineering, and the rest is history. Shane Pouch tracked down the birthplace of U.S. Engineering.

Shane’s task wasn’t easy. He started out by doing some online sleuthing, which led him to a patent document from Nippes in 1885 titled “Machinenfabrik,” which translates to “engineering work.” With the help of the Cologne City Library, Shane found an 1885 address book that contained an entry for U.S. Engineering founder, Gustav Nottberg. Shane’s research was challenging not only because each address book was voluminous, but also because, well, he doesn’t speak German.

In the end Shane traveled to Siebachstrasse 38, 50733 Cologne, Germany and snapped a photo of Flat Hank in front of the building. Flat Hank also traveled along with Shane to Koln Dom, the Cologne Cathedral. Congrats to Shane!

Flat Hank at the birthplace of U.S. Engineering in Cologne, Germany

Shane Pouch & Flat Hank at Koln Dom, Cologne Cathedral

David Golden & Flat Hank in the Sky

David Golden jumped out of an airplane with Flat Hank. And along the way he submitted some incredible photos of Flat Hank’s first skydiving adventure. David holds a B license with the United States Parachute Association and is considered a “sport fun jumper.” While this was Flat Hank’s first jump, David has completed over 200 jumps since his first in 2000.

In order to secure Flat Hank for the jump, David creatively engineered a brace. Flat Hank appreciated David’s regard for his safety. David traced Flat Hank’s outline onto a piece of 3/4″ plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw, screwed a sliding glass door handle on the back and superglued Flat Hank onto the front. Nice work, David!

David Golden and Flat Hank Skydiving

David Golden and Flat Hank Skydiving

The selection committee also chose several “Honorable Mentions” who had particularly beautiful entries:

  • Chris Lowery – Bryce Canyon, Utah
  • Justin Apprill – Maui, Hawaii
  • Kristin Blundell – Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • Ryan Reed – Swiss Alps, Switzerland
  • Isha Kassen – Vieques, Puerto Rico

Check out more Flat Hank photos in our Facebook album.

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