P&H Model 206

October 21, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

I became enamored with this old steam shovel when I went to Goat Beach in Sonoma County for a photo shoot of the California Condors. The rich rusty color and the textures initially caught my attention and the Condors became a project for another day.  

The old bulk was laying, lodged in the rocks. I wasn't sure what I was seeing, but by climbing around I was able to get some pretty good shots including a plate with the model number. With the information still visible I began my hunt for what it was and the history of why it would be left on the rocks at Goat Beach.

 I first found the information about P&H, it began with a partnership of  Alonzo Pawling and Henry Harnischfeger.  Pawling was a castings pattern maker. Harnischfeger was a locksmith machinist with some engineering training. They met while working at the Whitehill Sewing Machine Company in1881. Pawling left the sewing machine company and convinced Harnischfeger to join him. Together they started the manufacturing business P&H Mining Equipment in 1884 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company continued to grow and became a worldwide corporation eventually it was sold to others companies and operates today as a Japanese owned company. 

The P&H Model 206 was part of the 1920 P&H digging machinery product line.
These shovels were used up and down the West Coast by the logging industry and to make rail road lines.

From my research the one at Goat Beach may have been part of a project to build the never completed jetty at the river mouth of the Russian River. The P&H Model 206 was brought to be used to build a rail line. Blasting of the rock took place but it was never to be, by 1933 the project was officially abandoned and the P&H Model 206 was left to rust in place. 

Today it sits as unattended art. Rusted in Place  P&H Co. Model 206 steam shovelRusted in Place P&H Co. Model 206 steam shovelP&H Co. Model 206 steam shovel abandoned to the rocky shore of Goat Rock Beach in Sonoma County California. These shovels were used up and down the West Coast by the logging industry and to make rail road lines. The cab is long gone and what is left is the railway chassis which the cab would have been mounted to.  


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