Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Ohio Valley covert Goth reflects on the Silver Spade, in the background

The mega-shovel, The Silver Spade, is once again down for the count.

A little bit about the Silver Spade:

The Silver Spade Began her working life in November 1965, near Cadiz,Ohio. Named to commemorate Hanna coal's 25th anniversary, The Spade might well have been named "the machine that was almost never made". (Read on)

The Silver spade was a "First" in several ways. Not only was the Spade the first BE1950 ever made, it was the first to use "Marions" knee action crowd.

Prior to the Spade, all Bucyrus machines used a straight dipper, which ran through a saddle mounted midway up the boom. However, the Spec's laid out by the coal company insisted that the machine be equipped with the knee action dipper. Since this was a patented Marion featured, the two companies worked out a trade. In return for the use of Bucyrus's "Cable crowd" (As opposed to their own rack and pinion crowd), Marion allowed Bucyrus to use the Knee action dipper which allowed more cutting force to be applied to the bucket without putting a lot of stress on the boom.

Moving the Silver Spade was no small undertaking.

At a recent auction of mining memorabilia, held in Hopedale, OH:

The 14th-annual Harrison Coal and Reclamation Historical Park auction featured photos of old mining equipment, materials from the Silver Spade, written mining history and miner’s equipment still popular with those who want to keep memories of the industry alive.

A framed 24-by-36-inch color photo of the Silver Spade, taken just two months before it went down, was donated by Carl Streley and went for $65. A framed photo of a Bucyrus Erie shovel from the 1965-era went for $55 and a twin photo of the Silver Spade by Cleve Costley went for $50.

The Silver Spade, a piece of genuine mining history and an example of American manufacturing ingenuity.

by Mondoreb
hat tip: Scott & Vickie
* Scott & Vickie
* Silver Spade
* Recent news about the Silver Spade
* Auction featured photos of old mining equipment, materials
* Silver Spade

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