Cranes of the Past

Mon December 07, 2020 - National Edition

Take a look back at cranes of the past courtesy of Historical Construction Equipment Association.

(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.

Photo: 1/6
Photo: 1/6
Photo: 1/6
Photo: 1/6
Photo: 1/6
Photo: 1/6

An Austin-Western hydraulic crane owned by Truck Crane Service Company unloads 32-ft., 1-ton bridge beams during construction of U.S. 65 near Minneapolis, Minn., in 1957. Austin-Western developed the first hydraulic crane, nicknamed the “Anteater,” for military service in World War II, and Grove Manufacturing perfected the industrial hydraulic crane in 1952.
(Austin-Western Division of Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton photograph, HCEA Archives)
Construction of a small bridge, with a Bucyrus-Erie 22B crawler crane loading concrete into a hand cart for delivery. The small batch plant provides the concrete; the mixer – possibly a small dry batch paver – is behind the crane. Laborers are shoveling concrete into the curb area where the cart can’t go, and the power unit for a vibrator sits on the rebar behind them. 
(Bucyrus-Erie photograph, HCEA Archives)
A big crane, and a big girder! A Manitowoc 4100W Ringer picks girders for a railroad bridge over Interstate 480 in Brooklyn Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Allied Bridge is the contractor. This is an early example of the Ringer; introduced in 1968, its major components were a circular track upon which the boom and counterweight traveled, greatly enhancing the crane’s lifting capacity in close quarters.
(Jack Nochton photo, 
The Manitowoc Company Inc.)
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 Archive)
A Type B traction crane, one of six Eries (four cranes and two shovels, in the years before convertible excavators) owned by contractor T. E. Currie Company, is digging a pier foundation for a highway bridge between Detroit and Mount Clemens, Mich. Note the state-of-the-art hauler, an apparently hand-powered dump car.
(Erie Steam Shovel Company photo, 
HCEA Archives)
An Orton & Steinbrenner Model T traction wheel crane clams aggregate into a dump truck. Based in Chicago, Orton & Steinbrenner Company became Orton Crane & Shovel Company in 1922 and also produced truck cranes starting between 1919 and 1922. In 1945, Orton discontinued all its cranes except for locomotive cranes, which it still built when it became Orton-McCullough Crane Company in 1972. 
(Orton & Steinbrenner photo courtesy of Harry Young, HCEA Archives)

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