Steam Excavator, Dundee - Ref: WC1812
America used mechanical excavators as early as 1842. Britain did not adopt them until much later in the century, preferring to use muscle power. This steam excavator was possibly used to help built the Dundee - Newtyle rail line.
In the photograph a standing workman seems to merge into the cumbersome machine, while a few interested spectators enjoy the unusual sight from the embankment.
Alexander Wilson who took this photograph, was a supervisor in a Dundee jute mill for over 20 years. He bequeathed much of his collection and £50, to cover the costs involved, to the Free Library Committee of Dundee in 1923.