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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Big Dig: 1910

The Big Dig: 1910

"Steam shovel removing rock loosened by dynamite, Livingstone Channel, Michigan." Construction of the navigation channel along the Detroit River circa 1910. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Marion Steam Shovel

The steam shovel appears to be a converted 'railroad-type,' built by the Marion Steam Shovel Co. of Marion, Ohio.

Digging with steam?

That looks like high pressure steam being released at the end of the boom. But then again, there is a long snaking hose running off to the right of the picture, Maybe they are using high pressure water to loosen rocks?

What a shovel

I never really thought about it but steam shovels like this one did not have a steam condenser,so the steam was ejected after each piston stroke through the pipe at the top of the rig. Consequently a steady supply of boiler feed water would have been necessary, and if the local water was hard cleaning the boiler tubes must have been a headache. Other than that there is an overhead tram for removing the excavated soil to a distant dump location.

More news here

[Also some more old steam shovels here. - Dave]

Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne

A few years later, Popperville would need a new town hall, and the rest is history.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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