I dunno what a "Fresno Scraper" is, but that looks like an ordinary wheel barrow to me. What do you suppose they're doing?
I believe that was sometimes called a "slip"! Sort of a horse-drawn scraper in the old days.
We have one of those at our Alpine History museum. Does anyone know exactly what it was used for?
In "the old days", it was horse-drawn. When the handles are horizontal or so, it will just slip along the ground. When the handles are slightly lifted, the front edge will dig in and scoop up earth or whatever. The more the handles are lifted, the more aggressive the digging. When the handles are pushed back down to horizontal or a bit more, it just "slips" along the ground until reaching the point where the contents can be dumped by lifting the handles up high as shown in Jay's photograph.
I'm guessing that these guys are about to do something about some "potholes" in a roadway or driveway and have a method that's quicker and easier than just using shovels!
The slip was pulled behind a team. Along with a great deal of hard manual labor on the part of the team driver, the slip's uses included building small dams, terraces, leveling, and other work normally done by a box blade today. My dad used a team and slip during world war two to build terraces, and some road work in central Oklahoma. Colonel and Ol Pet were the names of the team. They also would pull his 34 Chevy to get it started....no batteries available during the war. In harness, they would pull the car up the driveway and when they heard it start, they would stop pulling without command. Papa would release them and they would just go back to the barn on their own. Fun memories.
I haven't used a slip, but I believe you use the lever to adjust how deep a bite it takes. Back for shallower, forward for deeper.
It is a scraper, your great grandfather would have used it to level dirt. They were horse drawn by a single horse usually. In the picture the scraper is in the "dump" position. They had a flat front and the operator would tip the handles slightly up or down to determine the bite of dirt that would be cut. The operator usually had the reins of the horse thrown over his shoulder as the scraper required the use of both arms. A good work horse would respond to voice commands and the reins would not be used.
Jay's photo is a slip. Steve's photo is of two Fresno scrapers. The Fresno has one long handle on the back to adjust the cut and dump the dirt. A Tumblebug is similar to a Fresno but has a latch that holds it from turning over until the latch is pulled open. That made it usable behind a tractor with only one operator. The Fresno took a team and one guy walking behind the Fresno running the handle. A Fresno will flip you right up over the top and down in front of it if you hit a rock when its digging.
I think we've pretty well covered it guys! One more comment by me and then I'll shut up!
Back in the 1800's and even in the early 1900's, railroads were built by these things. In the case of the Milwaukee Road that I used to work for, there were huge gangs of Chinese that would use many of these "slips" to cut and fill and build the railroad right-of-way. When I worked for the Milwaukee Road in Montana in the '70's, an old Roadmaster showed me where one of the old original "slips' used to build the RR in that area was still laying in a field near the right-of-way. I think it was just left there because by the look of the forward "cutting edge", it was just worn out! I think that "slip" finally went to a museum someplace.
I used "Slip" to make a earthen dike when I was a kid. I was a man before it was finished. Dad was pulling it with a Jeep Wagoneer. I have the same Slip Bucket setting outside my front door as a reminder.
Fresno scraper were an early version of the "Belly Dump" earth-movers, usually powered by mules or horses. They were used to scrape the earth to make a smooth roadway. Teams of these were used to build the Pan-Pacific Highway (now known as I-5).
Can you imagine the man-hours to build a road through the mountains with these?
Yep, they are called a slip or slip pan. My grandfather was a foreman over a large crew of men and mules using these pans during the early development of Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. The Florida land boom busted in 1925 and he had to find other work.
During the 1970s a guy I know used one of these pans to create a deeper channel for his fishing boat at a lake north of Tampa. He used a long chain so his tractor could stay on dry land. Worked pretty well, as I recall.
Can you imagine the number of men who never considered psychobabble terms like "self esteem"
or worried about hurt feelings ?
Imagine "whirled peas"!
There was a time when every farm had a Board Scraper,and a Dump Scraper.In the late 20's the DeLong boys worked on roads with them and my Grandfather Frank DeLong dug the basement for the Floyd Church with a team and scraper!50+ year's ago Sid and bud built a 6' dam with a Board Scraper and the F-20.
They are called slips around here as well. When I moved out to the woods in the 1970's, it was onto an area which had been a homeplace many moons before. The last inhabitants had moved away in 1930. There was a small pond just below the spring, and there was a slip on the pond bank. The front edge was pretty much U-shaped from wear, so I guess it had served its useful life and was abandoned there after forming the pond.
I love whirled peas !!! (with shifafa on the side).
Thank you for the explanation.
My grandad had a small strip coal mine for local use and used the fesno to uncover the coal, but they had 4 big draft horses to pull it Then when 54 hiway was put through Nevada mo. Dad and Grandad used it to help put in the grade work, this was how they paid their pole tax. (Pole tax was a way to work for the state so you did not have to pay your taxes)