The Media Archive for Central England is the public screen archive for the East and West Midlands. An independent charity and company based at the University of Lincoln, MACE acquires, catalogues, preserves and makes widely available moving image materials that inform our understanding of the diverse cultures and histories of communities between the Lincolnshire coast and the Welsh border.
This film is part of Free
A Ruston No 6 Crane Navvy
Shifting limestone at 100 tons an hour - the Ruston steam navvy at work.
From the collection of:
Before diesel power the only way to excavate large amounts of material quickly was by using a steam shovel. The machines were developed in America in the 19th century and could work on rails as well as caterpillar tracks. One such machine was the Ruston No. 6 Navvy made in Lincoln by Ruston and Hornsby. This early promotional film shows the rugged equipment in action. It may look primitive but compared to a gang of men with shovels its advantages are obvious.
Ruston and Hornsby was formed by the merger of Richard Hornsby and Sons of Grantham and Ruston Proctor and Company of Lincoln in 1918. Ruston and Proctor had demonstrated the effectivness of the steam navvy as far back as 1910. The No.6 Navvy was in production until the early 1930s.