Ross Island Bridge Approach, circa 1926. Posted on April 7, 2020 by Vintage Portland 9 Construction site for the west Ross Island Bridge approach, circa 1926. City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2009-009.491. Rate this:Share this:FacebookPinterestTwitterEmailRedditLike this:Like Loading... Related
The dump truck driver is enjoying a pipe smoke as he waits for his truck to be loaded with dirt. The house on the left is shaking on its foundation in fear of demolition. It looks to be just another cold overcast day in Portland.
Of all those other related photos regarding the approach, I’ve been waiting for one of these. The Steam Shovel. I knew they used them on this project. I did some research on these early excavators and it just fascinates me what they had to work with. Diesel engines came later along with hydraulics of course. I copied this and super zoomed on photo viewer. Lots of detail. The driver doesn’t appear to have a pipe though. To watch this cable/steam powered wonder on U tube is : classic erie steam shovel at work Thanks for this one VP!
Today’s photo is related to the January 8, 2018 photo with the steam shovel working across the street. The house on the left side of today’s photo can be seen on the right side of the 2018 photo, and I do believe that this is on the East side of the river.
I have a little quibble. The power shovel has no smokestack nor any steam nor smoke coming out of it. And the Jan. 8, 2018 photo shows it has a radiator for an internal combustion engine. Nevertheless it is a fascinating piece of equipment. Operating it looks like a hard job. I wouldn’t want to spend 8-10 hours a day moving those levers and pedals.
But what about the print above the operator’s head that says Steam Shovel Company?
@Thomas Edward Dent – That would no doubt be the name of the company doing the excavation, not the name of the shovel itself. The machine (an Erie) looks remarkably like the one in this video https://tinyurl.com/wck83d6 except there is no chimney. This is better seen in the companion photo below. Could conversion to an internal combustion engine been performed to extend the life of the shovel?
In fact, a comment in the post on 1/8/2018 reads “This is one of ERIE’s unique gas powered shovels that replaced steam. It used compressed air for swinging and crowding. Weight: 22 tons. “A four man crew can do the work of 50 men.” Date: 1926 or so.”
After closer examination of the 1/8/18 photo, it does appear to be a converted steam to combustion engine model. The steam stack, (similar to the steam donkey) is missing. There are 4-5 different outlet pipes coming out of the roof. In 1926 – 27 these were the early ones made. This why everyone’s comments are often helpful in figuring it out. Thanks fellow VP ‘ ers.
How many of these shovels were working on the construction project of this size; looks like both east and west sides.