Big Brutus is the second largest electric shovel in the world.
In May 1963, Big Brutus came alive. After taking more than 150 railroad cars and over a year to build, Big Brutus was in operation. Engineers designed the 15,000 horsepower shovel to revitalize the strip-mining industry. It is 16 stories (160 feet) tall and has a boom 150 feet long. At 11 million pounds, Big Brutus' bucket can lift up to 150 tons of coal - enough to fill three railroad cars. It ran 24 hours a day at a maximum speed of 0.22 mile per hour. It used as much electricity in one day as town of 15,000 people. In 1974, Big Brutus had to be shut down because its cost of operation was twice that of the value of coal it recovered. Big Brutus was dedicated as "a Museum and Memorial Dedicated to the Rich Coal Mining History in Southeast Kansas" in July of 1985 and in September 1987 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) designated Big Brutus a Regional Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
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