Recently I came across a website called Google Patents Beta, where the attached patent was listed. The patent for a car-coupler was entered by my husband's great-great grandfather, Martin Steffy.
Martin was born September 10, 1810 in York, Pennsylvania. When this patent was filed he was 70 years of age and listed on the 1880 census as a blacksmith in Littlestown, Pennsylvania. On the Littlestown website there is this description of life in the 1880's.
The "treasure" in finding this piece of family history is creating a window into Martin's life. You can picture him tinkering with his tools, a trait we have seen evidence of in our son. Explains all of the various items he has "repaired" over the years.