Thanks, Mark.... and an absolutely fascinating video! The article's comment dates reflect 2013-17, but those haircuts and recovery vehicles would seem to pre-date that by about 20 years, perhaps more. Any information on the initial 'raising'? (We take our time with our projects, too!)
Just fix it (right) and make it work....
I would place the video in the early 70, re the bell bottom pants and the age of the guy that was one of the last to operate it. Don't have any other info other then what was presented. I found it while watching Steve's video.
I agree, 60's or early 70's. The tow truck used in the beginning to remove the bucket and lower the jib was a Diamond T.
I want to know what became of it? Fix they fix it again or museum it? There's got to be more to the story.
It was recovered in 1976.
It is at the Threlkeld Mining Museum- scroll to the bottom to see it there today.
There's a crack in turntable that prevents it from running again.
Unless they've fixed it since the video...
Thank you for the video link. It was fun to watch.
There's still a cultural difference between 'memories and memorabilia', isn't there. Makes me recall Edward R. Murrow - "You are there".
A little more local to us, Rough & Tumble in Kinzers, PA has an operating shovel:
Make no mistake about it -- as romantic as it seems, operating that thing is hard work. Watching them in there cooking on a hot August day makes you grateful that you're merely an observer!
There's an Erie Steam Shovel at Dentonn Farm Park in North Carolina. Built in 1916
They are hot, noisy, smell of burnt metal, will coat you with asbestos dust from the brake linings, fill your lungs and taste buds with diesel fumes and the cable grease will splatter you good, but draglines were my dad's favourite machine!
He probably owned a dozen of his own and leased a few more over the years but I dont think any of my brothers (and certainly not I!) ever became proficient on any of them because he couldnt take more than a few minutes of us trying to operate one before we got thrown out of the cab and he took the controls.
They are somewhat of a lost art now, but a good operator (and my dad with 60 years experience was the best I ever saw) can sling a 1.5 yard bucket with the grace of a fly fisherman setting a Royal Coachman on the opposite bank of a river!
He was running his Murphy powered Northwest "40" digging a pond when he died at 80 years old.
Oh. I thought someone was going to be sent to get a bucket of steam
Most impressive is the Osgood at Rollag MN, it is as big as an old time railcar.
I can't imagine riding the jib all day to trip the bucket.
The voice-over in the video is by Fred Dibnah, he died a couple of years ago, but was a very special guy who made a series of documentaries for the BBC about steam and other old technology. He was some character !
All his stuff can be found on youtube, he was an amazing man and one of the last ones to master the art of fixing factory smokestacks (chimney's).
Just Google 'Fred Dibnah' you'll find it.
You should watch his work on the youtube, great stuff !
Here's a video about mr Dibnah, the last "Steeplejack" in the UK.
His accent takes a bit getting used to, to say the least, but it's an incredible story about his eventfull life and character !
Must watch !,
One about his greatest love: his Steam Tractor
FWIW, some years ago History Ch or Discovery did a segment on the recovery of an original Panama Canal steam shovel that was later used in the western USA to mine gold and than abandoned, Part of the removal from the mine site involved bringing in an industrial air compressor and using air to power the shovel to a place where it could be loaded on a flatbed. The shovel was placed in a static display, which is not terribly interesting to me, I'd rather see them restored and operating. Perhaps the steam shovel experts here know more about this digger. I enjoyed all of your videos-thanks for posting. jb
Nice video R.V. Thanks. I had family work at Marion Power Shovel...that was the name of the factory that built them. We would drive right by the plant every time my family took a trip to Marion to both sets of grandparents. Good old days. It's a shame it was left there to decay away.
It is surprising sometimes to see the old mining equipment around when you are out in rural areas. I am guessing there are a lot of pieces in what are now lakes when they finished with a pit and quit dewatering. They were considered used up or paid for equipment that made its money and became a cost to move or scrap. I would love to retrieve some that I know of, but it is a labor of love and significant effort/cost for some as small as 50-70 thousand pounds let alone some of the bigger stuff.
A couple months ago I found a copy of "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" and I even found a wooden toy of Mary Ann. I've been in love with them since I was a kid & watched Captain Kangaroo read that book on tv. The book & shovel will be birthday gifts to my grandson this spring.