provenance: unknown

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The Silver Spade

The Silver Spade is just awesome. It's a "stripping shovel" — basically a huge (and I mean huge) crane with a proportionately huge scoop, used to move immense quantities of earth, for coal mining. It weighs 7,000 tons (yes, tons) and is 220 feet high — as tall as a 12-story building. It scoops 105 cubic yards (or about 158 tons) of rock and dirt at a time; you could park an SUV in its bucket.

These pictures of it crossing a road in Cadiz, Ohio, are just nuts.

(There are some more pictures here, too, but they're on a Geocities site and bandwidth limitations may keep more than a few people from viewing them.)

March 12, 2002 12:22 AM

Comments (and TrackBacks)

Wow... That thing is awesome. You got any more pictures of heavy machinery up your sleeve?

Posted by Kelly on March 12, 2002 1:08 AM

I just might....

Posted by M on March 12, 2002 12:34 PM

And to think my son used to want to be a back-hoe operator. Shoot for the stars, Timothy!

Posted by Les on March 12, 2002 3:55 PM

man i love this stuff
im a 5 year mining vet

i dont run anything like the silver spade or the big muskie but i would love to someday

i love sites like this, it makes me proud to be an operator,,knowing people love machinery enough to make websites for them

great site

loader operator
operating engineers
local 324

Posted by Brian on October 10, 2002 11:52 AM

I went to see the Silver spade this summer and you have to see it to really believe how big it is
It is a real peice of work.

Posted by John Davis on October 15, 2002 9:04 AM

great site on the mighty spade. i'm a heavy equipment nut. i'm glad that such a magnificent machine is still working and not sold for scrap. if it does stop working they should keep it around and give tours of it.

Posted by Joe Anstey on November 19, 2002 8:07 PM

I work at a huge mine, and through working in the industry have been right up and on and under and close and personal with the spade. It truly is a monster up close. Imagine half of a wal-mart on crawler tracks....sweet!!

Posted by Sean on November 28, 2002 7:18 PM

I witnessed this beast crossing Route 519 in '01. What a feat!!!!! That is one mean machine. 200+ feet of power. Way to go Consol. Keep the 'ole spade digging. Us monster machine followers are always amazed at this beast's power.

Posted by Brian on November 30, 2002 6:58 PM

yes the spade is a great piece of work,i hope they don't scrap it like they did the muskie.i was able to get up close to the muskie and get some good video shots before they scraped her.i wonder if anyone out there has any photo's of the big 180yd marrion shovel that burned up?if so i for one wood be greatful if they wood post them.

Posted by phil on January 24, 2003 11:31 AM

I have really enjoyed this site! The pictures are wonderful. A real piece of history. My uncle is one of the Spade's operators. He was also an operator on the Gem of Egypt. My grandfather was a dozer operator for the Marion. For the people of Harrison County---this is/was a way of life!

Posted by on February 8, 2003 8:36 PM

Wow!!! Eversince I saw the silver spade, I was never amazed with those huge trucks on the highway again. And I thought they were big!!!
The Silver Spade is a real work of ART. It's massive, but that's the good thing ofcoarse...

Posted by Trish on March 5, 2003 6:34 PM

Helo, I just wanted to say that my dad had been a miner for 17 years, and he took me too see the silver spade when I was little. Eversince then, I have always wanted to follow up on his job, hoping that I could also opperate this stripping shovel.

Posted by Lin Chin on March 5, 2003 6:37 PM

I grew up north of St. Clairsville and could watch The Gem from the hill in our back yard. It was many miles away, but you could still see it. Thanks for the site.

Posted by Chuck Kreiter on March 7, 2003 11:19 PM

I was wondering if anyone knew where the silver
spade was and if it can be seen, I would like to plan a trip to go see one of these machines

Posted by Ronnie on March 10, 2003 1:41 PM

I know where it is. Is the public able to get close viewing of this marvel? I really knew nothing of this shovel until Wednesday evening when I saw a segment on Monster Machines featuring The Silver Spade. Got to see this up close!

Posted by R.D. on May 1, 2003 8:10 PM

Where does the Silver Spade do its thing. We saw a special on it on cable and they said Ohio but not where. We live in Ohio and our 7-year-old would love to see it work.


Posted by Tom Winslow on October 8, 2003 10:09 PM

Like most people, I saw the segment on Discovery channel's monster machine.

Been some years back, there used to be one of these big shovels off route 9, between St. Clairsville & Cadiz, Ohio. Would be curious if anyone had an update on where this beast is!

I lived originally in Dillonvale, Ohio. Still a long time railroad fan of the "Pine Valley" branch. It's a shame these long time industries are fading from our hometowns.

Posted by Sebastian Frank on October 12, 2003 1:11 PM

Check out the following websites:

Posted by The Silver Spade on November 30, 2003 1:13 AM

saw this shovel from day one. and it was going past my dads watch tower in salem ohio. we chased that machine to cadiz. spent a few summers and winters watching it grow up our family actully got to go up in that machine just before it whent to work. im 52 now and would like a tour with the silver spade. still a kid at heart. keep digging

Posted by bob humberston on January 11, 2004 3:42 PM

Is the silver spade considered a "shovel", or a "dragline"?

Posted by Dave on January 12, 2004 2:31 PM

I was wanting to know if anyone would know how to get a t-shirt?

Posted by feathered1 on April 21, 2004 1:24 AM

that machine is huge never be another 1 like it id love to see it as a museum when it shuts down u can see more about this beast at

Posted by rizzla on June 7, 2004 4:18 PM

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