Steam At Work


| March/April 1997



Advance-Rumely

Jack C. Norbeck

Norbeck Research 117 N. Ruch Street Coplay, Pennsylvania 18037-1712

Advance-Rumely 22 HP built in 1920, Type B Erie steam shovel built in 1915, and restored church. Photo taken at Southeast Old Threshers Reunion 1996, Denton FarmPark, Denton, North Carolina, by Jack C. Norbeck, author of Encyclopedia of American Steam TractionEngines.

Willard Moore is the biggest reason there is a steam shovel at Denton FarmPark. He also is the man who operates it.

It is a 1915 Type B Erie shovel made by Ball Engine Company of Erie, Pennsylvania, which later became the Erie Steam Shovel Company. The firm was founded in March 1883, by F. H. Ball and W. H. Nicholson. At that time they formed the Ball Engine Company to manufacture steam engines. Bucyrus merged with the Erie Steam Shovel Company in 1927 to form the Bucyrus-Erie Company.

Bucyrus Foundry & Manufacturing Company's first steam shovel was built in Bucyrus, Ohio. Dan Parmalee Eells, a Cleveland banker and industrialist and a group of business men founded the company on December 28, 1880. In 1893 the company moved to South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and incorporated under the name of Bucyrus Steam Shovel and Dredge Company. Then in 1895 it was in receivership and reorganized in 1896 to become the Bucyrus Company. The Bucyrus Company became a publicly-owned corporation in 1911 and at that time acquired the Vulcan Steam Shovel Company. July 20, 1927, Erie merged with Bucyrus and the new company was called Bucyrus-Erie Company.

Willard Moore went to Brown Loflin and Howard Latham, who own much of the Denton FarmPark's restored antique machinery, and urged them to buy the Erie shovel with a promise Moore would help restore it and would operate it at the Thresher's Reunion. They did, and he did, and he still does.