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Steam Shovel Weathervane

Bucyrus Erie 22B Steam Shovel-Cable Excavator Weather Vane


This Steam Shovel Weathervane was a family project, commissioned to be mounted atop the new offices of their family business, founded in 1904. This business continues on, being run as always, by fathers, brothers and sons. Such a great story! The Steam Shovel is one they have used in the past and is still on the premises. Weather vanes make wonderful family heirlooms, and this one definitely ties the history into that concept.

Because of the scale of the new offices an extra extra large (custom) size was requested. That made for some interesting logistics at every stage of production. For instance, we added the dirt pile for structural support, to stabilize the extended bucket and cables.

The Steam Shovel in this sculpture piece is fabricated in 3D, while the brass dirt pile on the arrow is is swell bodied. The cab of the steam shovel is brass, while the rest of the mechanisms are copper. These two metals will weather and patina in complimentary ways, with subtle differences in their colorings.

They requested a ‘Lucky Penny’ from the year of their founding cap one end of the horizontal copper tube, and the traditional penny from the year of the vanes completion capping the other end. They also requested the business name and founding year be inscribed on the tube.

Historically, weathervanes of metal first entered the mainstream populace as business indicators in the days of widespread illiteracy. How else to find the blacksmith, unless you saw the anvil weather vane? We love that they continue being used in that way, just because they are so lovely. We have made a tooth weathervane for a dental clinic, a golf pennant for a golf club, beer steins with foam for a brewery, and many many more. They are always a fun project!