1908 machine used in Gary W. Va. mine - what is it?

I'm trying to figure out who built this machine and when it was actually done. Looks kinda too cool for 1908 IMHO. I'm probably looking it up all wrong but I can't find any info.

Official description, "Machine used in Gary W. Va. mine that digs the coal and loads it on the car. With it 3 men can do the work of 50 in the old way. Yet they use boys to drive and trap."

1908_tractor.jpg


KD: Does it look normal to you for 1908? How was it powered in your opinion?
  • What was the name of this machine, who invented and produced it?
 

Right Arm

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This must be the precursor to the machines known as "joy rippers", funny name for a machine that looks no fun to get caught up in.
Funny thing is they supposedly did not come about until 1948.
This I guess is electric due to the cables but can't tell if the motor is driving any hydraulic motors.

It looks to be a fantastically engineered piece of equipment though.

On a side not I play games for fun and the latest being Fallout 76 which is a post apocalyptic(after nuclear war) sim based in WV in 2076, which is why I know a little about this area such as the The Greenbrier
Small world eh!
 
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    This I guess is electric due to the cables but can't tell if the motor is driving any hydraulic motors.
    Wondering if those could be compressed air hoses.

    Isn’t it amazing that we have a piece of sophisticated equipment with no known history. At least up to this point I have not seen any. Meanwhile there had to be a group of educated dudes to design, try out and send it to production. There had to be a factory assembling these machines and producing replacement parts. This info is AWOL, and this machine exists in a format of a single photograph, like it was some sketched prototype.

    This machine is an example of equipment we should be seeing involved in any process requiring the use of technology. We get horses instead.
     

    Right Arm

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    Wondering if those could be compressed air hoses.
    After looking some more they maybe water lines to keep the dust at bay.
    Isn’t it amazing that we have a piece of sophisticated equipment with no known history. At least up to this point I have not seen any. Meanwhile there had to be a group of educated dudes to design, try out and send it to production. There had to be a factory assembling these machines and producing replacement parts. This info is AWOL, and this machine exists in a format of a single photograph, like it was some sketched prototype.
    Nothing, half an hour of searching and almost thirty tabs open and still the use of these types of machine did not start till 1948.

    Although google ngram give a spike (no pun intended) for ripper in 1908 ish

    Screenshot 2021-03-11 at 21.51.46.jpg
     
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  • reverendALC

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    While I cannot offer any additional details on that amazing looking contraption… I can offer this:

    a corroborated, 1908 mining machine:

    1656819789377.jpeg

    image from wikimedia here.

    Notice the skeletonized construction, wooden bits, wagon wheels… vastly dissimilar to the machine pictured above.

    I stumbled upon an amazing find, a book from 1910 called Mines and Minerals vol31. It’s a thorough review of current and upcoming mining tools, techniques, and territories. The current equipment looks nothing like that, and the up-coming equipment doesn’t either. Read it here.

    so far I’ve identified mining equipment manufacturers active at the time, to include:
    Ingersoll Rand
    P&H
    Denver Engineering Works
    Marion power shovel company
    Kilbourbe and Jacobs
    Baldwin, (Baldwin-Westinghouse)
    Jeffrey

    and there no shortage of pictures of children working in coal mines.

    as far as how it’s operated, I’m going to go with electricity. There’s one cable that runs off scene to the left, and the looped cables connect to what appears to be an electrical control box:

    5F78E5C6-C8FC-4E43-B0D1-7A46CEE3CE72.jpeg

    Which reminds me of this:

    3328C615-3D3B-43CE-B096-BB5C38A86037.jpeg
     
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    reverendALC

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    I’ve updated the link to the entire ebook. You have to do some fancy clicking to get to the downloadable pdf version.

    here’s another book by Ralph S. G Stokes: Mines and minerals of the British Empire. being a description of the historical, physical, & industrial features of the principal centres of mineral production in the British dominions beyond the seas.


    it appears that this book focuses on international mining operations in British territories, and the pictures appear to illustrate some manual practices.

    here’s a link to Mines and Minerals vol 20 for 1900

    I found this image:
    878E678B-66DB-4D37-9B1B-288856062B88.jpeg

    Jeffrey thin-vein coal cutter, the most similar machine I could find thus far.
     
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    GalleryPeanut

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    The device may have somehow been controlled by a tractor hitch.

    Thinking that it could be electric.... I thought it weird that John Deere was founded in 1837 while Ford Motor Company was founded 1903, General Motors was founded 1908.

    motor vs engine

    “People use both interchangeably, but the difference is that motors run on electricity and engines run on combustion. The engine converts various forms of fuels into mechanical force, while the motor transforms electrical energy into mechanical energy.”

    Major automobile companies called their power sources "motor" and not "engine".... better names:

    Ford Carriage Company.

    General Combustion.

    They went with 'motor'.
     

    reverendALC

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    I would imagine this machine to be self-propelled. The wheels appear to have two components: rail riders and traction.

    also if you look at the interior of the two front wheels, you’ll see more chain links. I’m assuming that’s the drive mechanism.
     
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  • GalleryPeanut

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    The scattered tools and discarded box make it look like the machine has just been repaired. The hand is touching the lower 'teeth' so that's possibly what was repaired. The teeth look like they may rotate horizontally. Between the upper teeth and lower teeth are what appear to be exposed chain links. The teeth look to be attached to one big piece.

    Cool find.

    If that thing is powered I don't see an exhaust or tank/firebox. If this thing isn't a smaller part of a larger thing, it would probably be high voltage.

    The right side wheels look like they attach to something.

    1908_tractor.jpg
     

    reverendALC

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    I would hazard a guess that right end, or shovel, has rotating sets of teeth similar to a chainsaw. It appears to me that the big chain links you pointed out drive the gears behind them, giving the chainsaw teeth their mechanical action. The chains must return to a motor of sorts within the body.

    the head of the shovel appears to be on a four-bar linkage:
    1656907594838.gif
    That four-bar appears to be driven by the eccentric ring gear, and the slotted receiver for that drive linkage suggests that the shovel rests briefly at the high and low positions before changing.

    having scoured both the normal and deep webs and having skimmed thousands of pages of information, I cannot find one similarly equipped piece of machinery. The vast majority of the equipment I saw was pneumatic, sporting large hydraulic cylinders. There was also the occasional gas powered unit. Another key difference is that almost every single machine I’ve seen employs rotary mechanical action, with spinning discs or grinders. There are a few which resemble chainsaws as well, but they truly look like large chainsaws not like this.

    im also kind of interested in the three identical buildings on the hillside behind
     
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    Cathartic

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    This iron horse is incredible! You would think we would see a manufactures logo, name...? My two cents in image
     

    reverendALC

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    @Cathartic thats an astute observation. I compiled my (ever growing) list of period equipment manufacturers based off of the prominent nameplates visible in the photos.
     
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  • reverendALC

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    I don’t really spend any time on that one, but it was neat to read other postulation.

    it hadn’t occurred to me that the lower front chains were driving a scoop (I assumed they were power train for motion). It would explain how the broken rocks made it to the conveyor!

    I think they also failed to notice that the cable doesn’t end behind the “whatever” pile, but continues leftward out of sight.

    the pole/tube protruding from the ground is also curious.
     
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    reverendALC

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    Here's a very crude animation of what I perceive the mechanical action to be:
    Screen Recording 2022-07-05 at 7.44.27 PM.gif

    my skills aren't strong enough to represent the action of this piece:

    1657075739526.png

    connections like this provide two results: shortening the resulting movement and causing delays before reciprocal movement.

    I also do not believe these to be electrical conduit:

    1657075889031.jpg

    I do not see how they could end where they do, and it would be dangerous to have electrical cables so near the gear. they almost appear to be some sort of sprung retainer.
     

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