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Looking Back: Cranes

Mon December 13, 2021 - National Edition

The HCEA gives us a look at cranes from the past.

The Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving for public education the history of the construction, dredging and surface mining equipment industries.

This story also appears on Crane Equipment Guide.

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Photo: 1/5
Photo: 1/5
Photo: 1/5
Photo: 1/5

A Universal Crane Company crane with riveted boom is mounted on this late 1920s Sterling carrier. In place of the truck’s rear axle is a Motor Truck Crawler assembly produced by Christie Crawlers Inc. The crawlers allowed for greater mobility and stability on site, and were removed, as shown here, for travel on the assembly’s hard rubber rollers. One crawler is visible behind the rear tire.
(Thomas S. Peirce, HCEA Archives photo)
A Byers Model 3 Auto-Crane ¾ cu. yd. half-track clamshell crane loads dump wagons drawn by a Holt 70-120 tractor. The state of Nebraska owned this equipment. 
(Duane Parsons, HCEA Archives photo)
A Moore Brothers Speedcrane, ancestor to the Manitowoc crane line of today, charges a hopper 
that in turn loads gondola cars.
(Bob Walkner, HCEA Archives photo)
In 1957, an Austin-Western self-propelled hydraulic crane is being used by James D. Morrissey Inc. to place concrete on Roosevelt Blvd.  in Philadelphia in odd places a dry batch paver couldn’t reach. 
(Austin-Western Road Machinery Company image, HCEA Archives photo)
Contracting & Material Company of Evanston, Ill., has a pair of Bucyrus-Erie 14B cranes setting pipe on a residential project. These 15-ton capacity cranes, which B-E called wagon cranes although they were self-propelled,  ride on model 4215 carriers built by Maxi Corporation. Maxi was formerly Six Wheels Inc.; the Maxi name originated with the Six Wheels advertising slogan of “Maxi Engineering.” 
(Bucyrus-Erie photograph, HCEA Archives photo)

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