Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Walking Dredge

This piece of equipment was built by Bay City (Michigan) Dredge Company in the 1920s. It was used to dredge limestone from beneath the spongy earth across the Everglades to build the roadbed for the Tamiami Trail.

The machine now rests in Florida's Collier Seminole State Park, near the end of the work it completed in 1928. Two engineers with their crews ran the dredge 18 hours a day. The limestone was broken up by blasting, the project consuming over 2,500,000 sticks of dynamite. The material was moved one yard3 at a time, as that is the capacity of the bucket.

Though by modern standards this is a very "primitive" machine, it is so ingenious in its design and its accomplishment so important to the development of South Florida that the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has recognized it for its historic significance.

And How it Walks

This Bay City Walking Dredge, also called the Monegan Walking Dredge, is listed on The National Register of Historic Places.
More on ASME web page.


Sharkbytes said...

I have seen similar machines for building certain types of railroad beds. Very interesting.

vanilla said...

Joan, the ingenuity of mankind seems limitless, doesn't it? And it has been so for? millenia?