The Otis Shovel is used as part of the Historical Construction Equipment Association's logo. The Otis shovel was the world’s first mechanized steam shovel and excavator. Invented by William S. Otis in 1835, it was literally one of the most groundbreaking pieces of equipment to appear in the construction and mining industries.
The invention came about when Otis, employed by the firm Carmichael & Fairbanks, was working on a contracting position involved in building the American railroad. Working with strict time constraints, the firm would receive bonuses if it could finish the work before assigned deadlines. The excavation process and poor digging tools were delaying the project’s completion. This gave Otis the incentive to seek out a solution, as the current practices used for digging were very arduous and time-consuming. The traditional wagon-mounted graders and horse-drawn dragpans were not efficient enough.
The invention of steam engines became vital to the production of the Otis shovel. Otis figured that it might be possible to produce a machine using steam technology that could be applied to digging earth. With the help of a friend, Charles H. French, he built the first steam shovel in 1835 in Canton, Massachusetts.
He applied for a patent on June 15, 1836. The first patent described his invention as a “crane excavator for excavating and removing earth,” but was destroyed by a fire at the U.S. Patent Office. The second application was filed on October 27, 1838, and it was granted on February 24, 1839 under Patent No. 1089.
The model measures 55" long x 34" tall x 18" wide. This is a 1:6 scale version of the famous Otis Steam Shovel! Only 50 models were made and they were assembled in the USA!