Bucyrus Erie 1950B

Consol's Mahoning Mine
 New Athens, Ohio

Photo By: Eric Orlemann


UPDATE: Silver Spade :UPDATE
Scrapping  Underway

The Silver Spade's Boom support Cables were blasted  on Friday, February 9, 2007, ending and possible efforts to save this machine.

Scrapping will continue over the next few months, but the last chance to see the spade intact has passed.

UPDATE: Silver Spade :UPDATE
Scrapping  Underway


     This machine may be familiar to most of you. Featured in several recent series on The History Channel, The Learning Channel, Discovery, etc...  the Silver Spade is enjoying a lot of attention recently.

     Built in 1965, the spade is one of 2 Bucyrus Erie 1950B's built.  This machine outlived her sister, the GEM, and is still working today.  The 1950B represents a milestone in shovel production, and was somewhat of an indication, of what the future would hold.

     Consolidation Coal Company specified certain features for a new shovel, However, some features were patented by the Bucyrus Erie Company (namely it's "Cable Crowd), and others were patented by Bucyrus's biggest competitor, The Marion Power Shovel Company (the "Grasshopper leg" style of the dipper).   In an unprecedented act of co-operation, the 2 companies made concessions to each other, and the result was the BE 1950B.  In 1998, The Marion Power Shovel Company was purchased by Bucyrus, and it's machines were incorporated into the Bucyrus line.

   Ironically, after the deal between the 2 manufacturing giants, Bucyrus only produced 2 shovels with the features they borrowed from Marion, however, Marion  continued to produce shovels with the Bucyrus Cable Crowd, for years after the deal.

     Currently there is an effort underway, to raise funds and preserve the Silver Spade when the shovel finally retires. The HCRHP has been in existance since 1992, with the expressed goal of saving the machine as both a historical monument to the mining heritage of the eastern Ohio area, as well as an educational attraction. More inf0ormation can be found at their web site.