Steam Excavator, Dundee

Steam Excavator, Dundee - Ref: WC1813

This unusual photograph of a steam excavator was possibly taken during clearance work for a railway line. Britain was slow to adopt mechanical diggers not employing them until late in the nineteenth century. By contrast, America had been using them since 1842.

The cleared area can be seen at the rear of the steam excavator.There are at least six workmen in this photograph.They are quite difficult to spot as they appear to merge in with the cumbersome machinery.

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.

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