Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Say Hello to Big Brutus...

This winter weather is really getting to me. I'm starting to suffer from PMS (parked motorcycle syndrome).

Today, I was sitting in my office looking at the display boards I made. I used 26" x 19" poster frames and added different things to them so I can recall each years rides just by looking at them. 10 years on one board and the other is still being added to.

I was noticing one of the pins.

It's one I picked up at the Big Brutus Visitor Center in West Mineral, Kansas. In 2009, my ridding buddy, John, and I were on our way back from the Southern FJR Owners Rally in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I wanted to make a side trip to see Big Brutus. It took us a little out of our way, but not too far.
Big Brutus is a Bucyrus-Erie, 1850B, electric shovel. It weighs 11 million pounds, and was shipped to the area on 150 rail cars in 1962. It's not the largest electric shovel ever built, but it's the largest electric shovel still in existence. The unit is 160 tall, and the bucket holds 90 cubic yards. It was all electric powered and had what was basically a long 7,200 volt extension cord behind it. It was operated by the Pittsburgh & Midway Coal Mining Company until 1974. It's now a museum dedicated to the coal mining history of southeast Kansas.
For a small admission fee, you get a fact sheet, and get to walk through the insides of Big Brutus on a self guided tour.

It's hard to get a feel for just how big Big Brutus is, maybe this will help.. Look at the people coming down the stairs...

One more picture of the bucket. I didn't take this photo, I found it on Google Images. It's from a Kansas tourism web site, so I hope it's ok to use their photo...

Interesting info can be found HERE.