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Thread: giant cranes

  1. #81
    pistonskirt is offline Hot Rolled
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    A little more information regarding the Devonport dockyard crane.

    It seems that the present crane shown in my photo was "opened" by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in November 1979, it was indeed built to service nuclear submarine refits & is of only 80 tons capacity despite it's impressive size.

    This is obviously not the earlier 250 ton crane referred to by Tony Brassil.

    After some extensive searching I came upon the following photograph taken in the early 60's during Navy day weekend, it shows an RN submarine surfacing in no5 basin in front of another fairly large crane, I am fairly certain this crane is no longer there.

    http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/navydays/div.jpg

    I am told that a crane barge still exists at the Devonport dockyard caled the Devon Samson apparently of much greater lifting capacity, but once again I have failed to find any photo's or information.

    Apparently the two towers in one of my photographs were indeed hydraulic towers as Malc correctly suggested, they provided for the very large foundry that was once between them.

    Unfortunately (though understandably these days)the security around the dockyard is quite strict, even during the open day I attended a few years ago, any attempt to wander off route was halted by nasty looking buggers with machine guns across their chest, I even received a public bollocking from the guide for removing my camera from my jacket pocket.

    regards

    Brian

  2. #82
    plannerpower is offline Hot Rolled
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    This thread has already wandered a little from its original subject so I don't feel too guilty about commenting on transporter bridges. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    One of my interests over the years has been folk music, although I haven't kept it up much in recent years.

    There is a wonderful song about British steel-making; I don't know its name and, since I have never seen it written-down, I don't know all the words.

    One verse goes like this;

    "If you want to see fine bridges, then on Teeside we've got two,
    To show what local engineers and labourers can do.
    There's one as lifts the ??? Road up out o' shippings' way,
    And t'other shuttles back & forth a 'undred times a day"

    The reference in the final line is obviously to the Middlesborough transporter bridge.

    I heard this wonderful song many years ago; I can remember some verses but not the whole thing.

    Does anyone know it?

  3. #83
    Gavin-Phillips is offline Plastic
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    Re: Strekker floating crane

    I spent a few hours up at Newbiggin this weekend again, watching the crane, and the excavators shifting rocks around like they were sandbags...

    I received an email from a contact who I've been in touch with before about the cranes at Swan Hunter. He pointed me in the direction of a Dutch dredging/sea defence company called Boskalis which owns the crane. It is listed on their site but no details of the crane itself are given. The crane appears to be more or less of the same design as the old Stothert & Pitt DD1 and DD2 electric travelling cranes so they may well be some sort of hint?



    The sand begins its arrival on the beach on Wednesday the 23rd, I should be there sometime on friday depending on weather etc. The bulldozers are already on site so it looks like a good trip out for someone like me!

    Just a shame I'm not in a position to go and see the crane at Blyth Harbour which is apparently where it is anchored when its not in use on-site.

  4. #84
    Peter S is offline Diamond
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    I just came across a reference to another transporter bridge in the UK, this one is (was?) a private bridge crossing the River Mersey at Warrington, it connects the two halves of a chemical works, Messers Joseph Crosfield & Son Ltd. It is small (187ft span) and was the last built, working from 1916 until 1964.
    At least it was still there when my book was written in 1993. ("The BP Book of Industrial Archaeology" by Neil Cossons).

    Also mentions another transporter bridge at Middlesborough. It is quite different to others in the UK, having a cantilevered upper deck. It has a 570ft span and carries 600 people and 10 vehicles.

  5. #85
    D Foster is offline Plastic
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    Hi Guys, just like to say hello and introduce myself.
    My name is Dale and I have developed an interest in cranes from an early age.
    It just happens that I have some photos of a few giant cantilever cranes that I would like to see put up on this thread for you to see, so if anyone who has the means of posting them could email me, I will forward the images to you.

    Regarding the hammerhead crane in Devonport dockyard, it is one of two surviving examples in the yard. The giant cantilever crane as shown in the picture from pistonskirt is long gone unfortunately as is the giant cantilever tha was at Portsmouth - although I remember seeing it as a youngster on a family visit to the HMS Victory.

    Portsmouth crane: http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/images/555126.jpg

    The Stobcross Crane, Glasgow: http://www.theglasgowstory.com/images/TGSe01353_m.jpg

    Dale

  6. #86
    cutting oil Mac is offline Hot Rolled
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    Hi Dale,
    Glad someone else likes cranes the more the merrier!, Liked your photo of the big Glasgow stobcross hammer head, Clyde Port Authority crane, some years ago, i can well remember it lifting heavy loads, Some of the heaviest being big locomotives from the North British Loco Co, As well as other large engineering items, One of my colleagues Willie Dewar who worked in North British was employed on organising such lifts, N.B.owned the big lifting beam for slinging these massive machines, and from memory it had been built "inhouse" many years earlier, Which would have been no worry for North British, as also they had built some of the massive overhead cranes in their Queens park Works,
    So enormous was The North British Works, that i never met Dewar,untill he took part in industrial preservation, and he also started organising veterans meetings, for all us old duffers The department in which i was employed ( steel foundry) was about 15 miles from the main works.
    Recently i have heard that this big crane has to be turned into a viewing platform Same as John Brown Crane, further down the river, Sadly for some years now i have noted the big pulleys & hooks + the ropes have all been removed, from the lifting gear, I only hope the trendy present day consultants will replace them, if they have not already been scrapped
    Wonder if i could get one of these big cranes to put in my garden, and reinvent myself on the tourist trail, Wife could bake scones, & tea for the intrepid folk going up aloft _ Dont think the wife neighbours or town planners would approve !


  7. #87
    Gillm is offline Cast Iron
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    I was fortunate to have been given a tour of this when it was owned by McDermott International. The pictures do not do it justice.
    http://www.offshore-vessels.net/thialf_.html

  8. #88
    D Foster is offline Plastic
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    Brian,

    I had a search through some of my photos last night and have found a picture of the Devonport floating crane.

    I will scan it and send it to you if you drop me an e-mail.

    Dale

  9. #89
    D Foster is offline Plastic
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  10. #90
    pistonskirt is offline Hot Rolled
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    Excellent pictures Dale

    The Puget Sound crane is quite the most massive in construction, the second of the Philadelphia pictures is amazing if indeed the crane is indeed manouvering another smaller crane.

    Thank you for the pictures you sent, particularly the Devon Samson this being the first I have seen of it.

    I think it would be hard these days to see so many cranes in one photograph, eleven according to my count.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...Devonport1.jpg

    The floating Devonport Samson that I have yet to see in the metal.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...portSamson.jpg

    And an excellent picture of the big crane from the water.

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...fitComplex.jpg

    Dale, that is the same crane as in the pictures I posted earlier, I can confirm that it was still there when I looked out of my living room window this morning.

    Gillm

    those offshore crane barges are in another league entirely, I am most envious of your tour around that behemoth.

    regards

    Brian

    regards

    Brian

  11. #91
    George A is offline Plastic
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    Hi all,

    This thread seems to go on and on! I have restrained myself from posting as the topic started regarding hammerhead cranes. I am a lurker on this forum generally soaking it all in, but can contribute something for those interested in floating cranes.

    My employer has a significant fleet which you can check out here: http://www.generalconstructionco.com...atingcrane.asp

    The project I am working on has made extensive use of our largest crane and you can find pic's here: http://www.newbaybridge.org

    For those unfamiliar with floaters I would describe our fleet as mainly mid-market. There are smaller rigs used mainly adapting land-based crawler cranes to barges or floats for small marinas and similar construction. Our largest crane, DB General @ 500 tons fully-revolving, is the "beginner crane" for the offshore industry where the real titans are as noted in posts above.

    If you are really addicted to floating cranes you can also check out the website of our primary West Coast competitor, Manson Construction, who has a similar fleet.

    Regards,

    George A.

  12. #92
    pistonskirt is offline Hot Rolled
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    Hi George

    Well that was a very interesting hours browsing, thank you for the links. I am quite sure that there are a considerable number of blokes reading this that would love to be working on your present project.

    regards

    Brian

  13. #93
    Forrest Addy is offline Diamond
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    How about this?

    http://www.psns.navy.mil/photos/hist...hammerhead.htm

    I worked on, under, and near this crane for most of my career. The machinery house is bigger than a backetball court and about 50 feet high. There are 12 hoisting drums in side and a pretty big crane to service them. It's still in occasional use. Once in a great while it's used to transfer a big weight like a transformer or a boiler from a ship to a barge or rail car but mostly it sites pigeon nests and gives the tourists something to gawk at when they come in on the Seattle ferry.

    By the way, no crane in the Navy inventory could handle the 2000 ton weight of a complete Iowa class 16" triple gun turret. You have to break it down by removing the barrels, the breeches, the turret, and the barbett one at a time.

    There are many cranes larger these days but few can lift 350 tons at a 225 ft radius.

  14. #94
    Mud's Avatar
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    Mud is offline Diamond
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    Forrest - how is something like that kept ready for service?

  15. #95
    Peter S is offline Diamond
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    cutting oil Mac,

    FYI, some photos here showing North British locomotives being lifted.

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/cg.../11/1744.html?

  16. #96
    Asquith is offline Diamond
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    I saw this picture, and remembered Ries posting a good photo of the top part of it (the Baracca lift in Malta, page 4 of this thread). I wonder if they ever scaffolded it to paint it?

  17. #97
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    Asquith,

    Can we include giant elevators in a thread about cranes? If so:

    Scientific American article about long-gone passenger elevator tower at Weehawken, New Jersey USA/ This carried passengers up the famous Palisades cliffs from a waterfront ferry terminal to a trolley car connection up top of the cliff.

    http://www.weehawkenhistory.org/images/159.pdf

    Further down the Hudson, but also in Weehawken, was this funicular wagon elevator:

    http://www.weehawkenhistory.org/view...ck=0&category=

    Also long gone.

    For those not familiar with the New York City area, Weehawken is on the NJ side of the Hudson R. opposite about 42nd St. in Manhattan. The Palisades cliffs are very prominent, and the view of NYC from up top of the cliffs is awesome, especially on a clear night.

    JRR

  18. #98
    Asquith is offline Diamond
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    John,

    Very interesting! Thanks for posting. TheWeehawken passenger lift was amazing. Interesting arrangement for arresting the fall in an emergency. I wonder how many passengers realised they were travelling in a ‘plane’.

    The hydraulic operating mechanism sounds like a giant version of what was called a ‘jigger’ over here, using a relatively short, powerful ram to give a much-magnified amount of travel at much-reduced force. A smaller version for a crane can be seen in the first two photos here:-

    Merseyside Metal (photos)

    A contraption with a similar role to the Weehawken lift, but with less height but bigger capacity, still exists in England - the Anderton boat lift.

  19. #99
    Walter A's Avatar
    Walter A is offline Titanium
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    I pass by and sometimes work nearby this Hammerhead located at Norfolk Naval shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia. From what I have found this was built at the same time and a sister to the one built at the New York Naval Shipyard. Also 350 Ton Lift.

    Here are a few links I found on line. The last time I did a job at the yard I heard some talk of this crane being scrapped in the near future. Maybe just talk...

    http://www.michaelgatti.com/photos/h...s/page_12.html
    http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/01003.htm
    http://kalipso.phpwebhosting.com/pho...&frame_num=007
    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/...bases-p190.jpg

    Walter A.
    Last edited by Walter A; 04-12-2008 at 07:03 PM. Reason: sp

  20. #100
    stothert is offline Plastic
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    Default Steam crane historian.

    Mac can I jaw with you about Taylor etc (some Greenock also I hope) by email direct <codeman6000@hotmail.com> Best Bruce

    Quote Originally Posted by cutting oil Mac View Post
    The recent excellent article by Asquith on giant cranes, and the most intriguing further info byGavin Phillips, has been most informative, The large crane mentioned on the Clyde of 250 ton capacity,is at the site of the much lamented (& cleared with indecent haste !)Former shipyard & engine works of the late world renowned firm of John Brown & Co _ builders in there day of two of the most prestigious passenger liners in the world namely the Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth for Messrs Cunard, to mention only two of many fine vessels. The crane which was mentioned was in the fitting out berth, and is at the present time being "yuppified" At the top of the structure is being constructed a high altitude restaurant, which i am led to believe will give a 360 degree panoramic view, over the Clyde, Which will no doubt somewhat help to dispel the feeling of vertigo, in the diners, as the whole crane slowly rotates on its huge trunnion ring

    On the Clyde at the time of typing this post, in the upper reaches of the river, another 250 ton Arroll hammerhead is still to be seen, this is the Clyde Port Authority Finnieston crane, Which was used a great deal for loading locomotives on to ships, These locomotives being the products of The North British Locomotive Co.

    As well as these two leviathens, two other 100 ton hammerheads are still to be seen,one being at the former Barclay Curle engine works at Scotstoun, and one at the former Fairfield Shipbuilding yard at Govan, as far as i have heard permission has now been given to scrap her
    ( this yard is part of BAE systems)
    Also as far as i know another big 250 ton Arroll Hammerhead may still exist on the lower reaches of the Clyde at the James Watt Dock in Greenock, But this will need to be checked out.

    Up until about 1970, the Clyde Port Authority also had a large floating steam crane called the Newshot, Which again was a Fleming and Ferguson vessel, and about that period the last big fixed steam crane capable of lifting 120 tons,operating on the Clyde was scrapped, This was the big Clyde Villa crane over at the Govan side of the river, This enormous machine was built by Cowan Sheldon & Co, I was once most fortunate to get a look inside her machinery house, Most impressive, she was from a design by a builder at Birkenhead, Taylor & co, Until 1965 at Greenock, an old Taylor (sister to the Govan crane) was still operating, And in Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Co, A big 100 ton capacity Russell of Motherwell, Scotch derrick crane was still in use, The biggest electric derrick crane in the world in its day

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