Big Brutus put the oooohs and aaahs in the backyard of the Heartlands! Miles before you reach this retired giant — you can see it on the horizon south of West Mineral, Kansas, and almost from Columbus! Standing beside it makes one aware of how fragile he or she is.
The statistics give the hard cold picture. Big Brutus is a Bucyrus Erie model 1850B and the
second largest electric shovel in the world. It is
16 stories tall (160 feet) and weighs 11 million pounds. It has a
boom 150 feet long and a
dipper capacity of 90 cubic yards. It's
maximum speedis .22 MPH and it cost $6.5 million (in 1962).
There is more to Big Brutus than cold steel and long shadows falling across the Mined Land Wildlife Area. Big Brutus is not just a symbol of the past, but an eternal tribute to the mining heritage of Southeast Kansas and to miners all across this nation who toiled to support their families.On July 13, 1985, Big Brutus was dedicated as "a Museum and Memorial Dedicated to the Rich Coal Mining History in Southeast Kansas."
In September 1987 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) designated Big Brutus a Regional Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, the 10th since 1971 to be so designated.
Big Brutus is a museum open year round. Hours vary with the season. Call (620)827-6177 for more information.
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