Dunbar + Sullivan Steam Derrick

Derrick Number 4

Cleveland, Ohio
November 1980

Placing stone blocks by lifting them with a pair of hooks
on a loop of chain.

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Although built by Clyde Iron Works,
she was apparently overhauled by Manitowoc at some time.

The left front looks like Manitowoc sheet metal,
actually 2 front slope sheets spliced together.

The draw works on this machine had the drums lined up horizontally down the deck,
with a very large bull gear on each shaft.

The hoist engine had horizontal cylinders, one on each side of the draw works.

Cables passed thru fairlead sheaves on the front of the A-frame.

It had air controls, with a loco-type air pump, apparently cross compound.

Dunbar + Sullivan's main office was at Whiskey Island, Cleveland OH.


This is the normal method of moving around in sheltered water.

The crews called it "paddling", but it appeared that they were actually kedging.

This method of travel was surprisingly fast, around 5-6 mph,
ie, about the maximum speed for a sailboat.

The bucket is reeled in by a cable connected to a deck winch.
The crane operator and winch operator communicated by whistle signals.
The crane had a nice whistle, while the winches had peanut whistles.
When paddling, the engines were kept running, and motion controlled
via clutches. It sounded like a fast steam train.

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Another Day

A dreary day, but interesting operations.

Placing stone blocks by gripping them with a clamshell bucket.

This specialized bucket is very heavy, with triangulated reinforcement and heavy teeth.

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Sunset - Paddling Home

The crew kept the machine in position by the wall,
to protect the new concrete from wave action until it had set up.

Then they paddled back into the small Gordon Park harbor breakwall.
This is when it became apparent how fast they could travel by paddling,
and how efficiently they could maneuver.

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This little artificial harbor, at the east end of the Cleveland lakefront,
has always been used to tie up dredges and work boats.
When I last checked, in April 2002, the "other" 1927 Bucyrus Erie single-ender
was being stored there, along with several dump scows and a tugboat.
This machine is still lettered for Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, and appears to be out of service.

I have many more photos of several other D + S steam units.

...more photos will be added soon.

Next to be scanned are D + S Number 5, Handy Andy, and Sioux,
as well as a large Bucyrus-Monighan walking dragline on a barge(!)

These photos are all 35 mm slides, scanned on an HP 5470c flatbed.

This scanner has a resolution of 2400 DPI, and has a lightbox attachment for slides.

There is no apparent pixellation on the scans,
clearly the scanner could safely scan the slides bigger.

This machine still exists, renamed as RYBA4SPOT

She has been converted to diesel-hydraulic, but the original draw works were retained.


Photo by Lyman Burk

Lyman Burk & Associates has developed a sophisticated GPS system for precise positioning of dredges.

Ryba Marine Construction Company

Present owners of the 4-Spot.
They describe her as "a real workhorse".

The 4-Spot as she looks today

Bowling Green University
Dunbar + Sullivan
photo + records archive

Read thru the contract listings on this link for an idea of the scope of their work.

1927 Bucyrus Erie Dredge

USCOE McCauley

Clyde Iron Works

A huge Great Lakes shipping site

www.nesys.org HCEA Index

Copyright 2002 North East Systems