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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.

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