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Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel

Timco Member Posts: 3,026
A customer showed me a book today about Mike Mulligan who owned a steam shovel. He dug the jobs that no one else could, but when he dug a big basement, his steam shovel could not be removed from the it was made into the building's steam boiler. Very touching children's book from 1939. Did any of you have this read to you? I really liked it...

Just a guy running some pipes.


  • CC.Rob
    CC.Rob Member Posts: 128

    A classic that we have passed down through several generations.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Yes I read it.

    Furthermore I actually saw a real steam shovel. I do not remember if they burned coal or coke in the boiler, but all the stuff that these days are run by high pressure hydraulic fluid were done by steam. Since steam condenses and is compressable, the basic design of one of thos things must be a little different from moderm machines. But I was 10 years old or less, so I did not notice the dfference. This was in the late 1940s and it was a rare item even then. It was sure an impressive thing to watch. They used it to dig foundations for buildings, but they always dug a ramp so the thing could get out.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,080
    oh yes

    my parents read it to me, I read it to my kids, and... hopefully!  A lovely lovely story.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,777
    read it in school in the late '50s

    Never forgot it; reminds me of how this site tries to save steam heating. it's still in print i believe.
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,026

    I just ordered a copy by itself on Amazon and a collection of Virginia Lee Burton's books. In another book she describes an engine with 160 horse power and drew 160 horses...

    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • The Wire Nut
    The Wire Nut Member Posts: 407
    A classic

    Still published and I've read it to my 4 year old a number of times. Since he's obsessed with "Locomotors" it's a fun read.

    I remember seeing them when I was young so it would have to have been the early '60s. I remember coal deliveries too!

    My brother-in-law had a smaller derilect steam shovel rusting in one of his fields in NE PA. A few years back someone paid him a few bucks for it and came and removed it...

    There a a large steam crane mounted on a railroad platform at Steamtown in Scranton.

    You can see it here:

    Remember those black gasoline "bombs" that road crews used to use to protect their work areas?

    "Let me control you"

    Lost in SOHO NYC and Balmy Whites Valley PA
  • Wet_Willy
    Wet_Willy Member Posts: 5
    I Remember it well

    The steam shovel's name was MaryAnne If I recall, Captain Kangaroo used to read it on his show, and I remember reading the book to my kids a long time ago.
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