Sunday, December 7, 2014

More Ssssssteam Shovels

Sunday, December 7, 2014
Clear sunny skies and very, very cold.

More Ssssssteam Shovels

   Google's stats are not very good. They count my own views when I press "do not count own views", they count spam,and the numbers never balance on different str pages or views. However, when I see a 4 digit stat from one of my old posts, I am certain that a lot of people (excluding my own clicks and spam), have for some reason found that post interesting. So today, I decided to add another post about "sssssssteam" shovels.

One of the early the original Steam Engine posts that I created on June 2, 2013
can be found at the link below:

While I was working on this post I wondered why so many of this toys were made at the time.,and still are today.

 And then I realized why!

During the llart part of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century,there was a massive migration of immigrants to the USA. European countries had been at war for what seemed an eternity,there were plagues, famine and death (Ireland), and  people heard about opportunity in America. 

And so they came!

And with the influx of millions and millions of people, buildings had to be built,infrastructure (sewers, roads, bridges) had to be built,and business buildings and factories had to be built to  help with the rapid boom of the country.

During the same time period, the Panama Canal was also being built. This was a massive undertaking that America took over fem France. The original French company could no longer afford the costs,and the Panama Canal, something people had only dreamed of, became a necessity to cut the distance from the west coat of North and South America to the East Coast.

North American newspapers featured extended articles on the canal, and even an American president went down to have a look at the construction.  Many people died during the construction,especially due to malaria,but eventually the Panama Canal  was built!

Many of these toys were large,and some (not shown here) were large enough for children to ride on.
The particular Buddy "L" toy below was an updated model with"dummy" pistons for look rather than function. Nevertheless, the detail is fantastic. I especially like the springs on the sides of the tracks.

One other fact in noteworthy - the real machines and the toys were still steam. The machine received its power from a boiler that produced steam. The boiler had water,and the heat was fueled from coal.

Below is an actual "Panama Digger"  that would have been in Panama , helping with the construction of the Canal. Bertoia didv;t provide the date the toy was around. However, the open cab "C" style Mack truck design, combined with the Panama Canal toy, and being cast iron, would place this toy in the 1920's give or take 10 years.

The steam shovel was such an attraction and made so much noise,that you couldn't walk 10 city blocks without hearing one (they were very noisy), smelling one ( the coal burned), or  seeing one.

Bertoia Auctions took 3 separate photos that you see below. Being small-sized,I decided to combine the trio together, and they came out quite well,mostly due to Bertoia Auctions fine photography. 
I simply moved them together.

 The term "Old Store Stock" means that a store probably closed and sold all of its merchandise. Someone purchased the stock and resold it years later. Sometimes "old stock" is found years later when a store is liquidated. 
The new toy owner keep the toy as a collectible,rather than to be played with.

What's amazing to realize is how many different companies made the steam shovel toy.
Moreover is the fact that the toys look very similar from one manufacturer to the other.

Marion was an early manufacture of "real" stem shovels" that were renowned for quality and reliability.

Below is a later model. The  date when the toy was built or distributed is not presented,but you can tell from the truck design the approximate date. The truck cab is now closed and has a roof. So
I would again "estimate" that this one is from the 1920's "approximately".

The basic design of the steam shovel didn't really change over the decades.
Here again, the excavator, that I still call a steam shovel looks old in design.However,with the boiler, it probably work on diesel fuel.

The design of the truck again helps to give you an idea s to when the toy was built.
Of course, Bertoia Auctions made this easier for me, since they actually provided the date.

The stats for the June 2, 2013 post read 999 today (December 7, 2014). If I can remember, I'll add an addendum in a year from now for both posts to see if my today's post about ssssssteam shovels is still as popular as one of the original posts.

Thanks for dropping by, and as always,
have a great part of the day  or night,
'wherever you may be,

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