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The Big Dig: 1941

The Big Dig: 1941

August 1941. "Albany iron mine. Hibbing, Minnesota." A Bucyrus-Erie Model 54-B electric shovel. Acetate negative by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Took me a while but I remember that book. Teacher read it to us in 1st grade 1961

Electric shovels

Wow. When I think of the supporting systems for a large shovel like that, including the super-heavy and expensive copper power cord, what was the engineering or safety reason? Again, wow. Shorpyites -- help an ignorant one, please!

[Steam shovel excavators gave way to electric shovels in the 1920s. In this 1948 survey of iron-mining power shovels, the majority were electric; 22 percent were diesels. (Diesel powerplants, which came on the scene in the late 1930s, had the disadvantages of higher first cost and more expensive maintenance and operation.) In the 1960s, mining power shovels were superseded by even bigger electric draglines. - Dave]

Very informative stuff, especially the 1948 survey's explanations about safety.
Thanks, Dave.

Mike and Mary Anne

This photo made me immediately think of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, first published in 1939 and one of my favorite books as a child. They dug a cellar for a new town hall building in a day, just to prove they could keep up with these newfangled electric and diesel shovels.

Are You My Mother?

"He ran right up to it."
"Mother, Mother! Here I am, Mother." he said to the big thing.
-- P.D. Eastman

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