Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Big Brutus

I liked the monster on yesterday's post so much that I thought I'd do something similar, maybe every day this week. Today feature is close to home, right over the Kansas-Missouri border, in West Mineral Kansas. This, my friends, is Big Brutus.

Most people in this area know who Big Brutus is. When I first heard about this after moving from a large urban area, I thought the popularity of this guy was just a sign of how rural this area is. But really, it is pretty cool. Now that I have kids, I can't wait to take my 3 year old this summer to see it. Here are some interesting facts, from none other than Wikipedia:

Big Brutus is the nickname of the Bucyrus-Erie model 1850B electric shovel, which was the second largest of its type in operation in the 1960s and 1970s. It is 160 feet high and weighs 11 million pounds. The bucket holds 90 cubic yards or 150 tons. Maximum speed is .22 MPH. It cost $6.5 million in 1962. It is currently on display at West Mineral, Kansas, and can be seen from miles away. Big Brutus, while not the largest electric shovel ever built, is the largest electric shovel still in existence. The Captain, at 28 million pounds, was the largest shovel and one of the two largest land-based mobile machines ever built. It was scrapped in 1992.

And this is from the official tourist website:

  • Bucyrus Erie model 1850B
  • second largest electric shovel in the world
  • 16 stories tall (160 feet)
  • weight 11 million pounds
  • boom 150 feet long
  • dipper capacity 90 cu. yds (by heaping, 150 tons
    — enough to fill three railroad cars.)
  • maximum speed .22 MPH
  • cost $6.5 million (in 1962)
This area has a lot of mining history some of it is quite interesting, and sometimes seedy. There are remnants of that history everywhere, from the chat piles to the names of the roads, to monuments like Big Brutus. If you ever take a road trip to see some Americana, come out to see Big Brutus. He's a pretty cool guy.

If you like this little baby, then check our our dragline [and other similar] mining models. They are some of my favorite construction models, because they look so unique. Here's some link to a few:

Schield Bantam C-35 Backhoe
Menck M90 Oldtimer Antique Excavator Dragline Crane
Bucyrus: Making the Earth Move for 125 Years
O and K Dragline

I'll leave you with a few more pictures, from

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