Moving Through History Time Line
1880 - Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Company forms in Bucyrus, Ohio.
1882 - First railroad style (non-rotating) steam shovel is built.
1883 - Move to South Milwaukee, WI, incorporated as the Bucyrus Steam Shovel & Dredge Company of WI.
1894 - First successful electric excavating machine produced, a placer dredge.
1895 - Reorganize as The Bucyrus Company.
1904 - Supply 77 of the 102 steam shovels used to dig the Panama Canal, Marion provided 24.
1910 - Enter dragline market through purchase of manufacturing rights for the Heyworth-Newman dragline excavator.
1912 - Model “Class 14” dragline introduced, the first crawler mounted dragline.
1927 - Consolidate with the Erie Steam Shovel Company to form Bucyrus-Erie.
1933 - Enter the drill market through acquisition of the Armstrong Drill product line.
1935 - Rope crowd first introduced on a stripping shovel.
1942 - 60% of the output goes to the government for the War effort, until 1945.
1952 - First Rotary Blasthole Drill introduced.
1969 - “Big Muskie” starts operation, the largest dragline ever built.
1980 - Bucyrus celebrates 100th Anniversary.
1981 - 2st 395B electric mining shovel with AC electric power system.
1983 - 680W modular walking dragline with all AC drives introduced.
1983 - First 400 foot boom introduced on 2570W dragline.
1985 - Introduction of the 35R, 49R, 65R and 67R blasthole drills.
1988 - Minserco, Inc. is formed.
1989 - 2nd generation AC electrical system (GTO) introduced.
1990 - 395BII and 495B AC shovels introduced.
1993 - 2570WS dragline introduced.
1994 - First 295BIII AC shovel.
1996 - 395R drill introduced to compete with existing lightweight hydraulic drills.
1996 - Bucyrus-Erie name changed to Bucyrus International, Inc.
1997 - Bucyrus acquires the Marion Power Shovel Company.
1999 - 595B shovel announced as a successful descendent of the Marion 351M.
2000 - 3rd generation AC electrical drives (IGBT) begins operation.
2000 - 257WS lot 2 commissioned, the largest operating dragline in the world.
2000 - 495BII 100-ton capacity shovel introduced.
2000 - Concept model 795B, 135 Ton Capacity Knee Action Shovel, introduced at MINExpo 2000.
2002 - 495 HR/HF shovel models introduced, incorporating best of product features from Marion and Bucyrus models.
2004 - Bucyrus sells first large dragline to China, model 8750. Also the first dragline to be totally powered with a Siemens’ AC static drive system and the first direct (gearless) drive system for the hoist and drag motions.
2004 - Bucyrus purchases Contel Plus, South African based service and equipment provider of electrical and machine control upgrade systems.
2004 - July 23, Bucyrus becomes publicly traded company on the NASDAQ exchnge under “BUCY”.
2006 - Bucyrus celebrates 125th Anniversary.
Replication of the Machine
Sixteen inches long, from boom tip to rear hitch, the 95-ton steam shovel replica gives a sense of the enormous size of this machine, even in O-gauge. At over three pounds, the die cast model measures over eight inches tall to fixed boom tip, and over five inches wide across the extended outriggers.
One of the design fundamentals of the TWH Collectibles system is a “better than brass” philosophy for accuracy. Every inch of the historical machine was analyzed through a relentless search of material, in order to ensure impeccable accuracy. Artistic and engineering liberty was used only when it was clear that no content was available to illustrate a specific area of the machine. The result is a high quality, all metal, extremely precise piece, one that exceeds the expectations of even a brass model collector.
A scan of the exterior of the steam shovel reveals an impressive boom structure, A-frame, and stabilizer arms. This rivet filled assembly supports the dipper handle with key-operated, functional crowd action. The major functions of the steam shovel, including the raising and lowering of the dipper, boom swing, and chain drive locomotion are key- operated using fully functional winches of chain and ropes. Other functioning components include the dipper door trip rope, pivoting operator handles, and hinged, adjustable outriggers.
The undercarriage of the steam shovel features historically accurate, functional trucks, removable rear hitch, individually linked drive chain, and a brake. The removable house is complete with sliding doors and hinged windows with prop rods. The “Bucyrus – South Milwaukee” raised logo identifies its roots.
The most impressive area of the model is found in the interior of the house. Reciprocating pistons and operational gears lead rearward to the nickel-plated boiler piping. The boiler is detailed down to the rivets with a functional coal door inside the hinged coal platform. Prop rods support the hinged back door.
“Our primary focus is brand building. In the unique case of the Bucyrus Steam Shovel, the best way to accomplish this initiative is to build a museum-quality masterpiece that honors the historical significance of the Bucyrus machine. It is imperative to capture every detail, to replicate every feature and function, and to accurately tell the story” – John Hemken, founder and president of TWH Collectibles.
Reflection on History
The 95-ton steam shovel was the largest of twelve steam shovels that Bucyrus offered between 1895 and 1901, and was marketed as the most powerful shovel ever built. The ability to produce such capable machines for railroad expansion and mining afforded Bucyrus the rights to 77 of the 102 shovels used on the Panama Canal.
One of the largest excavation projects of the twentieth century, the Panama Canal project involved the removal of over 300 million cubic yards of earth. The American effort spanned from 1904 to 1914, when the bridge between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans was complete.
The work required, both in Panama and in South Milwaukee, to complete such an effort is unimaginable. In South Milwaukee, some men were never able to see their factory creations working in the field. And as the job was dangerous in Panama, some men never came home.
In a time when our past seems to quickly be forgotten, this replica captures a glimpse of an undertaking when men left their mark, their legacy, and built a canal to serve generations to come.
This model is IN STOCK! - Go here to order: BUCYRUS
By James Livermore
Note: This column is in the June TT&C 2020 issue.