Saturday, December 12, 2015

Overlooking the Obvious in Research

On Thursday fellow Nickel Plate Road modeler and friend Tim Moran stopped by with a magazine article about the Bucyrus-Erie Shovel Plant in Milwaukee. Why? Hanna Coal had several giant stripping shovels that were built on site near the open coal mines where they would work.  At least several of these shovels were built at NKP served mines, like the "Mountaineer" on the AC&NA Branch. The pieces, some huge, would most likely be shipped by rail on the NKP and would make for some really interesting loads for flat cars or gondolas. These loads could provide the occasional special movement during future operating sessions.

All I needed were some photos for future reference when I was ready for such a project. The article in the April 2006 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman didn't disappoint, as it contained several great photos of pieces of Bucyrus-Erie's Huge Shovels loaded onto flatcars for shipment.

After reading that article I felt I should try again to see if the Marion Power Shovel Company had any photos of their loads, so off to Google I went.

I can't say I found exactly what I was looking for but I did stumble into some great photos of several different shovels being constructed. There were many exciting shots of the shovels at work and a few "new to me" pictures of the Goodyear Mine and locations along the AC&NA Branch like Tipple "E". There was even a 1940's color picture of a giant shovel in Hanna's grey paint scheme where in the background I'm pretty sure is a W&LE 2-6-6-2 working a cut of hoppers.

Where did I find all these neat photos? On the Harrison County History of Coal Museum's website.

A place that I've VISITED in person, not once but TWICE, and never thought to see if they had a website...

I always suspected they had a larger archive of photos but nobody in the Puskarich Public Library above the museum was able to help with further information or who to contact when I inquired.

Lesson learned to always check for a website for a place you visit for further info, you never know what you'll find.

So if big shovels mining coal interests you at all check out the Harrison County History of Coal Museum's website, you wont be disappointed. The physical Museum is pretty neat and is also worth a visit if you're in Cadiz, Ohio.

Harrison County History of Coal Museum, Cadiz, OH

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