James Hanna, Sr., had a For Sale Ad in a recent issue for this
steam shovel and he told us his wife wrote the following tract and
they passed them out to about 150 people who attended a steam
shovel demonstration last year. He thought we would enjoy reading
it. We did and thought you would like it too. – Anna Mae.
Your attention has been drawn to me because I am not of this
generation. You wonder how the ‘square’ of the 20’s
compare with the ‘ins’ of this era. What has the popular
phrase, ‘generation gap’ done to heavy construction
machinery like me?
On March 16, 1925,1 left my nursery at the Erie Steam Shovel Co.
in Erie, Pa., for my new home at Sunbury, Pa., near Harrisburg.
When the salesman of the Shovel Company recommended me to Mr.
Geo. W. Rockwell (my first owner) he gave me quite a
‘build-up.’ All true, however. He said that I was equipped
with 40′ boom hoist, extra drum and gearing, necessary counter
weight, two speed propelling mechanism and power steering device
with necessary cables to handle a yd. power wheel base. He
guaranteed I was made of sound high grade material throughout and
in workmanlike manner. Those characteristics christened me,
Faithfully serving Mr. Rockwell for some years it was a joy to
be a workman that needed not to be ashamed. It was a privilege to
help build two viaducts and two arch bridges in the Sunbury
One day Mr. Rockwell was talking to a man I had never seen
before. They were talking about me. I soon learned the gentleman
was Mr. William J. Cromley and was to be my new owner. During my
ten years stay with Mr. Cromley I had a rather major operation. My
old steam veins were replaced with new ones. This made me feel like
new and with my crane-arm loaded and unloaded the heavy machinery
and boilers Mr. Cromley bought and sold in the Danville area. One
day my crane-arm was replaced with the bucket-arm. This was for
excavating for Mr. Cromley. Mr. William King of Dillsburg was my
operator for this job. He and I became fast friends. We became such
good friends that he recommended me to another William, Mr. William
Strayer also of Dillsburg. Not long after I found myself in the
Williams Grove Steam Show Grounds. Here a few days a year many folk
from far and near watched me work under the direction of Mr.
Strayer and Mr. King. I surely was the center of attraction as I
‘strutted my stuff.’
Again I heard a strange voice. This caused me to be suspicious
that another change was about to take place. This was verified in
early spring of 1968 when I bid adieu to the Harrisburg area, where
all my working life had been spent, and started for my new home. It
was at the James Hanna Sr. property near Harrisville, Pa. Jim is my
owner today, and has spent much time with me, along with son,
This is the summary of my life and we both agree enough talk
about me. What about you and your life? How have you spent yours?
In some ways we started out the same. For instance, we both were
made of high-grade material throughout. I with the best of
man’s material, you ‘created in the likeness and image of
God.’ Gen. 1:27. Another likeness is that of being the Workman
our Maker intended us to be. I, however, must work as man directs
me. You, ‘study to show yourself approved unto God a workman
that needeth not to be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of
Truth.’ Tim. 2:15. Thirdly, we both need power to get anything
worthwhile done. Mine is steam. ‘But ye shall receive power
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be
witnesses unto Me.’ Acts 1:8.
There is a way we are different. I do not, nor can, know my
future destination. You can know yours. When I expire part of me
will go to the iron scrap pile, another part to the steel, and
another to the sheet metal. Finally, I’ll be melted and used in
other man-made things. A few drops of me may see Venus or Mars. You
are eternal. Though you are born the first time in sin, you have
been given a will power that you might choose eternal life by being
born again. ‘Except a man be born again he cannot see the
kingdom of God.’ Jn. 3:3. If you have not been born again you
can be by (A) admitting you are a sinner. ‘All have sinned and
come short of the glory of God.’ Rom. 3:23. (B) believe Jesus
the Son of God by inviting Him into your heart and life.
‘Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal
life.’ jn. 3:15. (C) confess Him as Lord to others. ‘If
thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe
in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt
be saved.’ Rom. 10:9.
After you have been born again you, too, become a
‘Dreadnaught.’ You need not fear ‘It is appointed unto
man once to die, but after this the judgment.’ Heb. 9:27. You
can know but ‘dread not’ your future. With confidence you
can also say, ‘nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I
have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which
I have committed unto him against that day.’