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Old Glories in Black & White (Top Blogs Re-Visited)

by Nick Drew  |  Thu 30 Sep 2021

Old Glories in Black & White (Top Blogs Re-Visited)

Most of these photos are so old there is hardly any information about them. That is the case with this first shot above of an unidentified “skimmer” machine which was taken at Blackwater Quarry on the Isle of Wight in 1932. Incredibly I discovered that this quarry is still in operation today. 

 This photo taken in 1915 shows one of American manufacturer Marion’s first crawler shovels. The Marion 36 E was an electric powered machine and this example was sold to the Beech Flats Coal Company. The 3 man crew look very proud of their new machine, which one can imagine, was cutting edge technology back in the day!


Moving on to 1924 now and here we have a Bucyrus 320-B steam stripping shovel. Weighing in at 354 tonnes and with a bucket capacity of 6.1m3 this was the largest machine built by Bucyrus at that time. These machines were a giant leap forward for the mining industry in those days and the company sold around 30 examples.


As the caption on this old photo says, this is a Bucyrus Class 7 steam dragline. The machine was working on the Los Angeles drainage project. The machine was a crude looking example with no undercarriage as such. It was moved by pulling itself along with its bucket, on skids mounted on rollers. Quite how it remained rotted to the spot when excavating is unclear, or at least I have not been able to find the answer.

And last but not least in this batch of golden oldies is this little Ruston Bucyrus 10RB face shovel which was snapped in the 1950’s working in a ball clay pit. Love the look of the labourer's with the compulsory flat caps of the day and not one bit of PPE!


Look out for more classic photos again soon on the Digger Man Blog.  

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