prune picker

This is the blog of a prune picker. (Native born Californian) Retired oilfield. I am an old man. (91) I blog a lot about my body and getting old. As I approach death life gets more interesting. More interesting is not good. I still drive. I attend sports, music, and civic events. I am writing my memoirs. I attend swim class three times a week. Some of my blogs might be interesting. A lot of my blogs are silly and trivial. None are very long.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Moving dirt.

In my lifetime I have seen tremendous progress (a tipping point) in man's ability to move dirt. When I was four years old (1929) I watched my Dad excavating dirt for the basement of a large church. He was using a team of horses to pull a metal excavator (a Fresno) full of dirt up a sloping bank out of the hole for the basement.


It was an impressive sight. My Dad was an impressive figure in the many men involved. The Fresno scraper (called a Fresno) was invented around 1775 in Fresno, California. Prior to this time most of man's earth scraping and dirt moving was done using many men and shovels. (Even the 400 mile long Erie Canal. 40 foot wide and four foot deep. Later deepened to 12 feet.)


This is a picture of an early Fresno.


Here is a model showing the addition of wheels. Some early Fresnos were large enough to require more than a single team of horses.


Take a look at the latest Fresnos. Now called excavators. I drive through the construction site for a freeway interchange several times a week. It will take cost 23 million dollars and take five years to build. It is interesting to see the earth moving that is taking place. They are using several of these behemoths.



You must agree that the change from men with shovels to the huge machines of today is a great change. My Dad (and the Egyptian Pharaohs.) would be very impressed.


The picture above is of my Dad taken in the 1920s. At that time he was doing contract work with his team of horses (Bert and Beck) in Pomona. California. I remember visiting the team in the barn.

1 comment:

  1. Your lifetime has seen technical marvels, and cultural changes. Probably more than any other time in human history.
    That is why your stories and recollections are so fascinating, and should be recorded.
    Please continue with more.
    Thank you, Sir.!

    ReplyDelete

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