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Featuring Coal Mining
  Bucyrus-Erie 2560-W Dragline - Farmington, Illinois area.
Dogs Employed in Mines for Hauling Cars - McDonough County, Illinois
Flooded Pits - Northern Illinois Coal Corporation, March 19, 1948
Hoist assembly - New Orient Mine No. 2, Franklin County, Illinois
Kolbe Wheel Excavator - United Electric Coal Companies, Cuba, Fulton County, Illinois
Krupp Bucket Wheel Excavator - Northern Coal Mine, near Braidwood, Illinois
Picking Table Screen - Marion County Coal Company, Marion County, Illinois
Type 5480 Marion Shovel - near Laura, Illinois
Ten Mile Walk - Marion 5560 Shovel followed by a Bucyrus-Monigan 5-W Dragline
Type 5561 Marion Shovel - Midland Electric Coal Corporation, Farmington, Illinois area.
Type 5761 Marion Shovel - Farmington, Fulton County, Illinois
Type 7800 Dragline, Marion Shovel Baridwood, IL. to Sumterville, FL.

Flooded Pits
Northern Illinois Coal Corporation
March 19, 1948
      These 2 photos were taken March 19th 1948 , they are from Pit 12 (now the South Wilmington Firemen's Club)
      The Mazon River ran over it's banks and flooded Pit 12, submerging a Marion 5480 Dragline and a Marion 5480 shovel also called a "Mucker".
Flooded Strip Mine Pit 12B
In the foreground of this photo you can see the raging Mazon River.
Flooded Strip Mine Pit 12A
This photo, taken some time later, the water has receded about 10 or more feet down.

      Twenty years later the river broke into the next pit to it's north Pit 16, The pit 16 was about 1 mile long, 70 feet deep and 150 feet wide at the top and about 70 feet wide down in the pit. It took less then 5 minutes to fill the pit to the surface of Rt. 53 . After some of the Marion 7800 dragline's motors were returned and put back in and all the electrical components dried out they made a new Box cut and dug a new pit, it took over 2 months to pump out the flooded pit .
      Nick Koba, Jr.' states : "I know there were photos taken of this flood also but can't find them, I hope someone who see this that has photos of the 1968 flooding will contact us." ~~ Contact Nick Koba, Jr.
These 2 photos belonged to Anton Berta of South Wilmington, a Northern coal Miner from the 1940's
                  Photographs courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr. 1

Bucyrus-Erie 2560-W Dragline
Bucyrus-Erie 2560-W Dragline
Photograph courtesy of Karl Bliss 2
      There was only 2 of these units manufactured.
They were manufactured in 1969 for Peabody Coal Company.
This unit was located in the Farmington, Illinois area.
      This machine weighed 4,825 tons and had 22 DC motors totaling 21,000 horsepower.
This machine had a boom length of 295 feet and the bucket was rated at 85 cubic yards.
This information came from Bucyrus-Erie.

Hoist assembly at the New Orient Mine No. 2
Franklin County, Illinois
Hoist assembly at the New Orient Mine #2
Photograph courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr. 1
      The mine was operated from 1922 to 1960 they mined over 61,107, 440 tons of coal over that period .
      On the night of December 21, 1951 4, at 7:38 p. m., an explosion occurred at the New Orient No. 2 mine of the Chicago, Wilmington and Franklin Coal Company located at West Frankfort, Franklin County, Illinois. The explosion was responsible for the death of 119 men.
      See : Explosion at Chicago, Wilmington & Franklin Coal Company, Orient No. 2
Orient Coal Mine No. 2 3
The legal description lists this as :    Franklin County - Township 7 South, Range 2 East, Section 13, NW SE SW
Underground Shaft Mine at a depth of 480 to 500 feet with a coal seam thickness of 8 feet to 12½ feet in thickness.
Mine Name Operated By Years
New Orient, Orient Coal Mine No. 2   Chicago, Wilmington & Franklin Coal Company   1922 - 1959
Orient Coal Mine No. 2   Orient Number Two Coal Company   1959 - 1960
The last production was reported on November 30, 1960.

Marion 5480 Shovel
Marion 5480 shovel
Marion 5480 shovel in snow
Marion 5480 map in lake
Photographs courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr. 1
      Marion 5480 shovel sitting in a lake near Laura, Illinois.
This is the old Pioneer Collieries Company coal mine that operated from 1951 to 1969
it also belonged to the Sherwood-Templeton Coal Company.
The machine came from a mine in Indiana.
The over head photo is from Google Earth.
      Talks are going underway with the land owners about recovery of this machine
The land owners don't want sight-see-ers coming on to their land to see it.

Ten Mile Walk
Marion 5560 shovel and Bucyrus-Monigan 5-W dragline
Photograph courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr. 1
      1950   Marion 5560 Shovel followed by a Bucyrus-Monigan 5-W Dragline
on a 10 mile walk from Pit #9 North of Coal City to Pit # 11 south of Braidwood - Northern Illinois Coal Mine
Marion 5560 Shovel
      Built in 1935
      The first built -1550 tons - 105.5 ft. boom - 64 ft. dipper - 32 cu. yd. bucket later increased to 35 cu. yds.
      It was dismantled and finished it's life at Peabody Coal Company's Tebo Mine in Missouri

Type 5561 Marion Shovel
Type 5561 Marion Shovel
Photographed in 1955
Photograph courtesy of Karl Bliss 2
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5561 Marion Shovel 2

This model was first introduced in 1940.
This machine had a 35 yard bucket and was the first machine to use Marion's revolutionary knee-action crowd mechanism.
This machine was the largest stripping shovel built to date.
This machine had a weight of 1,675 tons.
This machine was owned by Midland Electric Coal Corporation and was located somewhere around the Farmington, Illinois area.

Type 5761 Marion Shovel
? 954-WX Bucyrus-Erie Bucket Wheel Excavator
Type 5761 Marion Shovel
Photograph courtesy of Karl Bliss 2
Photographed in the 1980s
      Type 5761 Marion Shovel & what is believed to be a 954-WX Bucyrus-Erie Bucket Wheel Excavator
      I am not completely sure but I believe this machine was dismantled from another mine and re-assembled at Farmington after the high wall collapse in 1964. [ Farmington, Fulton County, Illinois ]
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5761 Marion Shovel 2

Manufactured by the Marion Power Shovel Company.
This machine was shipped from Marion, Ohio in December 1960 to Farmington, Illinois.
The cost of the machine was $3,433,484.00.
The machine operating weight including ballast was 6,562,000 pounds.
The blueprints showed the machine had a total height of 158.5 feet.
The boom length on this machine was 170 feet, also the bucket was listed at 65 cubic yards.
According to the spec sheet the alternate current driving motors total horsepower was listed at 5000 horsepower.
      This info is from copies of the originals from the Marion Power Shovel Company. These copies were obtained a couple of years ago from the Historical Construction Equipment Association of Bowling Green, Ohio.
This organization obtained much of Marion's paperwork when they were bought out by Bucyrus Corporation.

Type 7800 Dragline, Marion Shovel
Type 7509 Marion Shovel
Photographed at the Northern mine near Bradwood, Illinois
Photograph courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr. 1
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7800 Marion Shovel 1
Serial Number 7509

In 1941 the first Marion 7800 dragline was built at the Northern Illinois Coal Corporation's Wilmington # 10 coal mine serial number 7509.
It has an 185 foot boom and a 30 cu.yd. bucket.
When the Northern Mine Closed in 1974 the 7509 was sent to the Black Mesa mine in Arizona.
In 2004 Peabody sold the 7509 to Dixie Lime & Stone Company of Sumterville, Florida, it was rebuilt with improvements to dig limestone.
In 2016 it was sold to American Cement Company also in Sumterville, Florida and is now digging limestone again this has to be the oldest dragline in service today being over 75 years old.
In 1942 the second 7800 was built at this mine S/N 7620
and in 1947 the third 7800 S/N 8561 was also built at this same mine.
Around the 1960's the 8561 was sent to Big Sky Mine in Montana.
When the Northern Mine Closed in 1974 the 7620 was sent to Peabody Coal's Edward mine in southern Illinois.
The 8561 and the 7620 have been scraped for many years now.
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Type 7509 Marion Shovel
Photographed at American Cement Co., Sumterville, Florida
Photograph courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr. 1

Krupp Bucket Wheel Excavator
Krupp Bucket Wheel Excavator
Photograph courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr. 1
      The Krupp Bucket Wheel Excavator was built in 1962 at a cost of $6,000,000.
      It was 156 feet tall and 468 feet long.
      It operated at the Northern Coal Mine near Braidwood, Illinois until 1972, then it was dismantled and sent to the River King Mine near Linzburg , Illinois.

Dogs used in Coal Mines
Dogs in Coal Mine
1903 Annual Coal Report 5
Dogs Employed in Mines for Hauling Cars.
McDonough County, Illinois

      In McDonough County mines 31 dogs are employed for drawing empty and loaded cars of coal to and from the mines, to the bottom of the shaft or to the mouth of the drifts.
      On one of my visits to the mine of Rippetoe and Rundle, at Colchester, I was very much interested in observing the intelligence exhibited by one of these animals. The driver with his dog was returning from the bottom of the shaft, the dog drawing an empty car, on arriving at the summit of the hill, the dog, without any instruction, jumped into the car and rode with the driver down the incline to the level below, arriving at the bottom the dog jumped out of the car and palled it up the grade on the opposite side to the working face.
      I am unable to classify the different kinds of dogs that are in use at these mines. Above is shown a mastif hitched to a car of coal, which it has just drawn out of the mine.
      I do not esteem so highly, the value of dogs, in consideration of their mere usefulness to the miner or to the operator, as I do other domestic animals : the horse, pony and mule; yet the dog to a greater degree beyond that of any other animal, has become the humble friend and companion of man, seeming actually to have knowledge to be delighted with the joys, or, to sympathize in the sorrows, of his master. On this account it is, that he is alike "The pampered minion of royalty and half starved partaker of the beggar's crust."

Picking Table Screen
coal picking table
1913 Annual Coal Report 6
Picking Table Screen
Marion County Coal Company
Junction City (near Centralia), Marion County, Illinois

      A radical departure from existing methods of preparing coal was made during the year by this company in the installation at Junction City mine, near Centralia, of a Marcus patent picking table screen. This may be described as a shaking screen which, instead of standing at an incline, is placed perfectly level. The peculiar motion imparted to this screen causes the coal to move steadily forward. The screening is done on the upper deck in the manner usual to shaker screens. A lower deck is provided on which the material that has passed through the perforations advances. Valves in the lower deck permit the distribution of the sizes to the various cars. The larger sizes traveling forward on the upper deck at a speed of about 40 feet per minute. In this way all rock and foreign matter is clearly exposed to view and can be picked out by hand. This is work which heretofore has been attempted by the trimmers on the cars with very indifferent results. By means of this Marcus the lump coal can be as carefully cleansed of foreign matter as the finer sizes can be by washing. The installation of this screen marks a long step forward in the preparation of the larger sizes of coal.

Kolbe Wheel Excavator
The United Electric Coal Companies
Circa 1958
Brochure courtesy of Charley Smart 7
Kolbe Wheel Excavtor Kolbe Wheel Excavtor
Moving 3,500 Cubic Yards of Overburden an Hour in a
Continuous Stream a Maximum Distance of 420 Feet
      A 2,100 ton towering giant of agile steel and electric power stands today in the pit at Cuba Coal Mine -- digging overburden up to 100 feet above the coal bed -- conveying it, 3,500 cubic yards an hour, on an endless belt speeding at 1,225 feet per minute a maximum distance of 420 feet -- and discharging its load on the spoil bank another 25 to 30 feet gained in the trajectory of the falling material.
      Here, moving more earth in less time than any equipment previously built in this country, stands the new Kolbe Wheel Excavator.
      An engineering achievement of historic significance to the strip mining industry, the Kolbe Wheel is a dramatic contrast to the first all-electric stripping shovel, built in 1928, with a 12 cubic yard dipper and a 95 foot beam.
Kolbe Wheel Excavator
      Since the early days of strip coal mining, there has been continuous pressure for improvement in the efficiency and size of stripping equipment to move always greater quantities of overburden at lower cost.
      There followed fifteen years of research and engineering development work . . . fifteen years of trial and error, of failures and triumphs, of operating experience under varied conditions of weather and overburden structure . . . fifteen years and three excavating wheels, each larger, more efficient and economical than the other.
      And now the Kolbe Wheel Excavator is moving tonnages of overburden the engineers would not have believed possible fifteen years ago.
      The future is limited only by the creative imagination and technical skills of the engineer.
The Kolbe Wheel Excavator
                        At Cuba Mine
Kolbe Wheel Excavator
      Watching the smooth, efficient performance of the new Kolbe Wheel Excavator in the open pit at Cuba Mine, an observer would find it difficult to imagine the engineering and operating problems encountered in its development.
      The original objective was simple and clear; to move more earth at lower cost than was possible by the traditional shovel-dragline team.
      Fluctuating output in strip mining has been a problem because of unequal stripping depths. Moving a given quantity of overburden does not uncover a uniform tonnage of coal when the overburden thickness. As a result, the mining equipment and organization geared to capacity production may not be utilized to its full rating.
      United Electric engineers found that the shovel-dragline combination was not the most satisfactory solution to those problems. The instability of the top part of a bank, a glacial drift, makes working a dragline near an open face a hazardous operation. This same instability makes it necessary to deposit the dug material at a considerable distance beyond the open pit to prevent slides.
      The Kolbe Wheel Excavator overcomes both of those objections by traveling the machine on top of the coal and by placing the dug material as far back as the fourth and fifth previous cuts.
      The new Kolbe Wheel Excavator is the fourth wheel engineered and built by United Electric over a period of fifteen years.
      The original wheel, put in operation in 1944 at Cuba Mine, had a capacity of 1,000 cubic yards per hour. The second and third wheels are operating at approximately 1,500 and 1,800 cubic yards per hour.
      Each new wheel incorporated structural and operating improvements developed by United Electric engineers from the hard test of practical experience.
      Problems of infinite variety and complexity were tackled and solved one by one.
      How, for instance, could the engineers anticipate that, in winter, wet material would freeze to the belts even at the theoretical maximum speed of 600 f.p.m. for rubber belts? Neither scrappers, or heating devices licked the problem until, perhaps by hunch, ladder and stacker belts were speeded up to 900 f.p.m., moving too fast for the material to freeze.
      Now ladder and stacker belts speeds up to 1,225 f.p.m. are practical . . . but high speed created another problem. Boulders weighing up to 1½ tons each, moving at speeds up to 1,000 f.p.m. imposed intolerable impact loads on the conveyor idlers. Extremely rugged suspension idlers, revolutionary in design, were developed by United Electric Engineers to solve that problem.
      Size and load capacities of digging wheel and belts . . . operating speeds . . . shock loads . . . design of such critical features as the digging wheel, crawlers, drives and roll feeders . . . heat generation . . . power requirements . . . selection of special alloy metals . . . rubber belt construction . . . these and many other details have continually challenged the imagination, patience and technical skills of United Electric engineers.
      The Kolbe Wheel Excavator, magnificent in its mastery of one of the industry's primary problems, is also a symbol of the pioneering spirit which has continually impelled the men of United Electric to the development of improved production and marketing operations so essential in its service to the industries and public utilities of Mid-America.
Interesting details of the
Kolbe Wheel Excavator

Digging Wheel
      The digging wheel, 27 feet in diameter, carries 10 buckets each at 2.5 cu. yd. capacity but actually holding about 1.75 cu. yds. of loose material. It has a speed of 8 r.p.m. which means a peripheral speed of 675 f.p.m. the wheel is powered by one 715 h.p. motor at 660 r.p.m. continuous and 1200 h.p. at peak kw. Variable sped control permits regulation for different conditions but 8 r.p.m. is considered normal speed. Motor drive is a 30" Poly-V belt which helps provide the necessary clutching action to protect motor and reducer against shock loads. The wheel itself weighs 90,500 lbs. while the entire digging assembly, including all machinery, weighs 476,000 lbs. A chain mat in the back of each bucket provides continuous self-cleaning.
Roll Feeder
      Excavated material is discharged from the wheel to the belt over a roll feeder. this allows the buckets to start dumping at a low position and also permits the use of buckets of maximum width. the four rollers rotate at speeds increasing from wheel to belt, the roller nearest the belt turning at 44 r.p.m. The roll feeder construction makes it possible for material to cascade onto the belt without piling up. the belt travels at 910 f.p.m.
From Ladder Belt To Stacker Belt
      Excavated material discharges from the ladder at 910 f.p.m. onto the stacker belt at 910 f.p.m. onto the stacker belt moving at 1,225 f.p.m. In the earlier machines a great deal of trouble was encountered with shock loads at this transfer point -- particularly when a 1½ ton boulder dropped 11 ft. onto a rubber belt! With high speed belts, suspension idlers and a vertical drop of 3 ft. from top of belt to top of belt very little trouble is encountered in the new Kolbe Wheel. In this transfer zone of the stacker belt and the loading zone of the ladder belt, suspension idlers are held on a rubber cushion at each end that supplies additional shock resistance. Integral with the ladder are traveling skirt boards over 60 feet. long that guard against spillage in the transfer zone. As the wheel can dig from 9 ft. to 100 ft. above the coal with a widely varying angle of discharge of material from ladder belt to stacker belt, the transfer zone is a critical area. With the design of the new wheel, excavated material is transferred to the stacker belt with a minimum of rolling and bouncing.
Suspension Idlers and Stacker Belt
      One of the most serious problems encountered in the first three wheel excavators was the fact that large boulders and frozen chunks of top soil bounced and rolled back down the slope of the stacker belt. This problem has been completely solved by the development of rugged heavy duty suspension idlers. The ability of the idler to depress and swing forward at the same time enables it to ride with the punch of boulders and large lumps. The suspension idlers also simplify the problem of belt alignment because they adjust from off-center loading. The stacker belt is 60' wide, 5-ply, 7/16" top cover including 5 nylon cord breakers (one longitudinal, and four bias) and 3/32" bottom cover including one longitudinal breaker.
Kolbe Digging Wheel
Digging Wheel
Kolbe Digging Wheel
Roll Feeder
Kolbe Disharge
Ladder Belt To Stacker Belt
Kolbe Suspension Idlers
Suspension Idlers
Kolbe Stacker
Kolbe Stacker Specifications and Performance Data
of the Kolbe Wheel Excavator
Over-all Length (maximum)  420 Ft.
Width at Center of Rotation  46 Ft.
Roller Circle Diameter  45 Ft.
Height of Discharge above Coal (Low)  9'-0"
(High)  100'-0"
Diameter 27 Ft.
Number of Buckets 10
Bucket Capacity 2. 5 Cu. Yds. (Bank Measurement)
R.P.M. (Variable) Normal 8
Swing Speed at Digging Point 50-80 Ft. Per Min.
Max. Capacity at 18" Depth of cut 4800 Cu. Yds./Hr.
Max. Depth of Cut Possible 36"
Ladder Belt Width 60"
  Length 245'
  Speed 910 F.P.M.
Stacker Belt Width 60"
  Length 700'
  Speed 1225 F.P.M.
Motor-Generators 2 @ 900 H.P. Each
Wheel Drive Motor 715 H.P. @ 660 R.P.M.
Ladder Belt Drive Motor 250 H.P. @ 1200 R.P.M.
Ladder Crowd Drive Motor 100 H.P. @ 4300 R.P.M.
Roll Feeder Drive Motor 40 H.P. @ 1170 R.P.M.
Stacker Belt Drive Motors 2-400 H.P. @ 660 R.P.M.
Swing Drive Motors 2-35 H.P. @ 700 R.P.M.
Propel Drive Motors 4-150 H.P. @ 1200 R.P.M.
Wheel Drive 83.14 to 1
Ladder Belt Drive 3.97 to 1
Stacker Belt Drive 10.076 to 1
Crowd Drive 4.38 to 1
Crawler Drive from 1200 R.P.M. Motor Speed to 14 ft. per min.
Wheel Complete with Motor & Drive 215,500 Lbs.
Total Weight of Ladder & Wheel 476,000 Lbs.
Total Weight of Machine on Crawlers 2,100 Tons
Kolbe Logo

Sources :
1 Photographs and information; courtesy of Nick Koba, Jr., Pumper, Peabody Coal Company
2 Photographs and information; courtesy of Karl Bliss
3 ISGS Index No. 366
                Coal Mines in Illinois, Franklin County, West Frankfort Quadrangle
                Illinois State Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL. 61820

4 Seventieth Coal Report of Illinois, 1951
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois
5 Twenty-Second Annual Coal Report, 1903
                Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1904
6 Thirty-Second Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1913
                State Mining Board -- Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1914
7 United Electric Coal Companies brochure for Kolbe Wheel Excavator; circa 1958
                Courtesy of Charley Smart

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