Holy Cow Tractor Pulling Team

Steam shovel

A steam shovel is a large steam-powered excavating machine designed for lifting and moving material such as rock and soil. It is the earliest type of power shovel or excavator. They played a major role in public works in the 19th and early 20th century, being key to the construction of railroads and the Panama Canal. The development of simpler, cheaper diesel-powered shovels caused steam shovels to fall out of use in the 1930s. The steam shovel was invented by William Otis, who received a patent for his design in 1839. The first machines were known as 'partial-swing', since the dipper arm could not rotate through 360 degrees. They were built on a railway chassis, on which the boiler and movement engines were mounted. The shovel arm and driving engines were mounted at one end of the chassis, which accounts for the limited swing. Bogies with flanged wheels were fitted, and power was taken to the wheels by a chain drive to the axles. Temporary rail tracks were laid by workers where the shovel was expected to work, and repositioned as required. Steam shovels became more popular in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Originally configured with chain hoists, the advent of steel cable in the 1870s allowed for easier rigging to the winches. Later machines were supplied with caterpillar tracks, obviating the need for rails. The full-swing, revolving shovel was developed in England in 1884, and became the preferred format for these machines. Expanding railway networks (in the US and the UK) fostered a demand for steam shovels. The extensive mileage of railways, and corresponding volume of material to be moved, forced the technological leap. As a result, steam shovels became comm

nplace. During the 1930s steam shovels lost out to the simpler, cheaper diesel-powered excavating shovels that were the forerunners of those still in use today. Open-pit mines were electrified at this time. Only after the Second World War, with the advent of robust high-pressure hydraulic hoses, did the more versatile hydraulic backhoe shovels take pre-eminence over the cable-hoisting winch shovels. Many steam shovels remained at work on the railways of developing nations until diesel engines supplanted them. Most have since been scrapped. Ruston Proctor Steam Navvy No 306 This machine was originally used at a chalk pit at Arlesey, in Bedfordshire, England. After the pit was closed, the steam navvy was simply abandoned and 'lost' as the pit became flooded with water. By the mid-1970s, the area had become a local beauty spot, known as The Blue Lagoon (from chemicals from the quarry colouring the water), and after long periods of drought, the top of the rusty navvy could be seen protruding from the water. Ruston & Hornsby expert Ray Hooley heard of its existence, and organised the difficult task of rescuing it from the water-filled pit.[4] Hooley arranged for its complete restoration to working order by apprentices at the Ruston-Bucyrus works. Subsequently it passed into the care of the Museum of Lincolnshire Life,[5] although it is not known whether it remains in operational condition. The navvy was recovered with hundreds of hours labour and free help from many organisations but today (2010) this Lincolnshire industrial monument stands unprotected with water allowed to pour down the boiler chimney. Many Lincolnshire residents and Ruston engineers wish to see this icon rescued.

C.O.W. Systems