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The Gem Of Egypt Stripping Shovel

Bucyrus-Erie's 1950-B--"The GEM of Egypt"--stripping shovel was the second-largest-capacity shovel the company ever produced. It was equipped with a 130cu-yd dipper that had a capacity of almost 200tons. The "GEM" was the second shovel BE designed with a knee-action crowd front end. The first machine was BE's 1950-B "Silver Spade".

The word "GEM" in the shovel's name stands for "Giant Excavating Machine, and "Egypt" stood for the mine in which the shovel started working: the Egypt Valley Mine of Hanna Coal Company, in Barnesville, Ohio. Its first full month of operation was February 1967. The GEM is shown in its original white and red Hanna color paint scheme. By the mid-1970s, the shovel was repainted yellow and orange, the new corporate colors of Consolidation Coal Company (CONSOL), of which Hanna was a part.

The GEM of Egypt had its first public exposure at a special open house on january 21 and 22, 1967, for all the residents of Cadiz and Barnesville, Ohio, area. It was very common for mining companies to show off their latest Coliathsas a goodwill gesture toward the public.

Mine areas can be very dangerous at times. Without warning in 1976, part of the highwall peeled away and collapsed on The GEM, causing about $1 million in damages. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt. The name of the shovel by this time had also been shortened, since it was no longer working at the Egypt Valley Mine site. Repairs were made, and the shovel continued to work until the mine temporarily shut down, from May 1985 through 1986. The 1950-B once! again started back to work in 1987, only to be parked in August 1988.


Height: 178 ft
Boom Length: 170ft
Dipper handle length: 102 ft
Bucket capacity: 130 cu-yd
Bucket load: 200 ton
Machine weight: 14,000,000 lbs (7,000 ton)

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