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Marion Power Shovel was a Marion, Ohio based manufacturer of earth moving shovels and draglines, mainly used in construction and resource extraction. The company's main product line consisted of bucket mining shovels and dragline mining shovels. From 1900 to the 1960s, Marion-built shovels and other products were among the best known trade names in earth moving equipment.


Marion Steam Shovel and Dredge Company

The Marion Steam Shovel Company was established by Henry Barnhart, George W. King and Edward Huber in August 1884. While steam shovels had been made prior to this date in the United States, Barnhart persueded Huber to financially back his design which incorporated a stronger bucket support than other makes. Barnhart and Huber patented Barnhart's changes under United States Patent No. 285,100 on September 18, 1883. One element of Barnhart's design was the use of solid iron rods (hog rings) to support the boom of the shovel, which was stronger than simple chain.

This machine set the record in July 1908 for moving 53,000 cubic yards (41,000 m³) of earth in 25 eight-hour days after American project management began of the Panama canal project. Marion built large and small steam shovels for building contractors, railroads and the US Army Corps of Engineers who were building the Panama Canal at the time. Marion was most successful with the Model 20 series contractors shovels (see steam shovel).

During the project Marion Shovels broke world records in amount of cubic earth moved within a given time frame (1908) and greatest amount (8-ton) lifted by a single bucket (1911).

By 1911 90% of all large bucket steam shovels and draglines were produced in Marion Ohio, which was also the headquarters of Osgood Steam Shovel, Fairbanks Steam Shovel and General Excavating Corporation. (Competitor Bucyrus Steam Shovel was founded 15 miles (24 km) from Marion in nearby Bucyrus, Ohio; the company relocated soon thereafter to Milwaukee, Wisconsin after Bucyrus city officials refused to approve expansion plans for the company.)

Marion Power Shovel

In April 1946, the company changed its name to the Marion Power Shovel Company (MPS) to more closely reflect its products.

Marion built its first walking dragline in 1939 and became a key player in providing giant stripping shovels to the coal industry, being the first to put a long-boom revolving stripping shovel to work in North America in 1911. Marion’s succession of giant shovels, many breaking world size records, culminated in the world’s largest in 1965, the Marion 6360. The 6360 at the Captain Mine, Illinois, operated with a 180 cubic yard (138 cubic meter) dipper bucket. With an estimated weight of 15,000 tons (13,600 tonnes), this machine still holds the record as the heaviest mobile land machine ever built.

In 1974 they introduced the Super front Shovel design that utilised a modifid dipper design that could have a 66% bigger bucket on the machine. First fitted to the Model 204-M with a 27 cuyd dipper.

Acquires Osgood Company

In 1955, MPS acquired its cross town rival, the Osgood Company which manufactured shovels under the Marion-Osgood and Osgood brand names. Osgood's product line complimented MPS's, with most of Osgood's product line focusing on shovels, cranes and draglines that were small capacity machines as opposed to Marion's line which was focusing more and more on high end strip mining draglines. Osgood had also focused on road ready mobile units that utilized Mack truck undercarriages.

NASA Crawler

Marion made headlines when it built the famous Apollo moon rocket crawler-transporters for NASA in 1965. This transporter is still in use today to transport the space shuttle to the launch pad. Based on stripping shovel undercarriage technology, the two diesel-electric transporters were designed to move fully assembled lunar spacecraft and rockets from the assembly building at Cape Canaveral to the launch pad, a distance of three miles (5 km). These huge vehicles weighing 3,000 tons (2,722 tonnes) without load are powered by six diesel generator sets generating 7,600 horsepower (5,667 kilowatts). The transporters have played a key role in several NASA programs, including the Space Shuttle.


In the late 1960s the company was acquired by Dresser Industries during a period of consolidation of heavy earth moving machine makers. Later operating as the Marion Division of Indresco (the successor name to Dresser), before Marion was acquired by Bucyrus International, Inc. in 1997.

Following the merger, Bucyrus International closed the Marion, Ohio works, (while retaining the brand name) ending shovel production and engineering as well as ending Marion, Ohio's role in shovel production.

Historical corporate files and archives for Marion Power Shovel were split between the Historical Construction Equipment Association (HCEA), based in Bowling Green, Ohio and the Marion County Historical Society, Marion, Ohio.

=Special models

34 8200's have been built. They were not specially designed for Moura. Each dragline was customized for the Mine that purchased it.

Model range

  • 111-M 1948 41/2 cuyd.
  • 183-M 1956 9 cuyd
  • 191-M 1951 10 cuyd with 157 built uptill 1989
  • 195-M 1970 17 cuyd Dragline
  • 291-M 1962 15 cuyd
  • 305-M 19 ? 20 cuyd dragline

Stripping Shovels

  • 250
  • 270
  • 271
  • 300
  • 301-M
  • 350
  • 351-M 1995 57 cuyd
  • 5323
  • 5480
  • 5560
  • 5561
  • 5600
  • 5760 (Mountaineer)
  • 5761
  • 5900
  • 5960 (The Big Digger)
  • 6360 (Captain)

Walking Draglines

  • 7200
  • 7400
  • 7450
  • 7500
  • 7620
  • 7800
  • 7820
  • 8020
  • 8200
  • 8700
  • 8750
  • 8800
  • 8900
  • 8950
  • 9600


  • Wikipeadia for base article, expanded with model detail and additional history.
  • Extreme Mining Machines by Keith Haddock
  • Giant Earthmovers by Keith Haddock

External links

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Marion Power Shovel. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia