THE REBIRTH OF A keystone Skimmer Shovel

| September/October 1982

  • Keystone Driller

  • Keystone Driller

RD #2, Charleroi, PA 15022

My formation began in a factory called the Keystone Driller Company, Beaver Falls, Pa., that was engaged in business since 1882 in the manufacture of keystone portable and traction well drilling machines for making water, oil and gas wells, mineral prospects and blast holes; since 1907, in the production of Downie deep well pumps, direct steam driven and geared from power; and since 1913, in the manufacture of Downie centrifugal pumps.

My birthplace, Beaver Falls plant, covered 14 acres of ground and they employed approximately 300 men. The plant included departments such as boiler shop, forge shop, brass and steel foundries, machine shops, wood working and pattern shops and an erecting shop.

The manufacture of the Keystone shovels began here in 1914. My great granddaddy was one of the originators of the backhoe.

Many patterns were made, fitted and assembled. Over 6,000 shovels were made in this factory and behold, I was born, Keystone Skimmer Shovel Model #4 in the year 1920. I must say I was the most modern and the envy of every contractor/excavator engineer within the United States. I am told my brothers drilling machines were sent abroad.

I have had vast experience and background in excavation of foundations, streets, sewers, railroad beds, street car beds and even airports. During all my youthful days, my steam never ran out, my flues were always cleaned and my whistle blew loud and clear. Progress and industry demanded new and faster techniques, thus gasoline engines were introduced and I was put to pasture for a long rest.


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