Model of First Steam Shovel to Be Shown at ConExpo-Con/AGG

Thu February 03, 2011 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Many new machines will be unveiled at ConExpo-Con/AGG 2011, but not every product being introduced will be modern. The Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA) is producing a 1:10 scale model of the 1841 Otis steam shovel, and will display the first production unit of the model at booth GL3138 in the grand lobby.

Designed in 1835 and patented in 1839, the Otis steam shovel is the earliest known land-based single-bucket excavator. Originally built for use in railroad construction by the firm in which inventor William S. Otis was a partner, it remained in production in small numbers until the early 1910s. The design concept of a railroad-mounted shovel whose boom swung approximately ninety degrees left and right was continued by several manufacturers into the late 1920s, and its digging action is seen in today’s cable- and hydraulic-operated shovels.

The 1:10 scale model features a swinging boom, extending and retracting dipper stick, rolling wheels, and operational levers, gears, drums and bucket trip, and comes on a section of railroad track for exhibit. It is the first of a series of scale models being produced exclusively for the HCEA, and will be shown courtesy of HCEA Board Chairman Dave Geis. Orders will be taken for a limited run of 49 more shovels; proceeds from sale of the models will help fund production of another model, a 1:16 scale Cletrac model F crawler tractor.

The HCEA, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of the construction, dredging and surface mining equipment industries, was founded in 1985 and has more than 4,100 members in 25 countries.

In addition to publishing a quarterly magazine, Equipment Echoes, and hosting an annual working exhibition of restored construction equipment, it operates the National Construction Equipment Museum and archives in Bowling Green, Ohio. Individual memberships are $30.00 within the United States and Canada, and $40.00 elsewhere.

For more information call 419/352-5616 or visit

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