When Jim was little the family had a model train with a train transformer. He and his brother had lots of fun with that train and the transformer.
I think Jim said that they would put the train around the tree at Christmas time too.
Later as Jim got a bit older — ok, just a little bit older — when he was 8 or 9 years old, he learned something else he could do with that train transformer.
If you remember from the other stories, an incident happened that caused the boys; Bob and “Jimmy” to not be able to plug things in for some time. During this time, batteries became a strong preoccupation of Jim’s and as noted elsewhere, became a life-long passion for camping, being in the yard, and for having lighting when electricity went out. Jim made the transformer into a battery powered transformer and used it to charge other smaller batteries and capacitors.
Anyway, back to Jim’s childhood. By using this converted train transformer, he would never be without electricity, and all without plugging anything into the house current and thereby doing what he was told he must do; not plug anything in to the house current. Personally, I think he took it as a challenge to himself to figure out ways to have power without plugging anything in.
Jim used to say that if his mother only knew the voltages he was working with over time as a child without plugging into the house current, she would have freaked out. Rest in peace, Mom and Jim.
That train transformer became very important to Jim in fueling his life-long passion for batteries.