Photo of the Week
October 23, 2006 

Okay folks, we are revisiting the "Mule Crane" again.  I posted a photo on July 31, 2005 in regards to this unique piece of Panama Canal equipment.  See previous posting.

I recently purchased the above photo from the 1930's showing a Mule Crane at Gatun Locks which has probably the original boom as it differs from the one posted on July 31.  The cab is also covered to keep weather out. My father in law George Lowery told me that these Mule Cranes were in existence for their ability to climb the steep inclines along the lock's walls. The railroad cranes could not maneuver these inclines.  The photo above boom almost looks like a Bucyrus style boom.  Maybe Bucyrus made these cranes especially for this use.

Now, in the modern times, there is a new-age Mule Crane on the Panama Canal.  Bill Fall took this photo on his trip to Panama early this year.  The Panama Canal purchased a bunch of new locomotives (mules) recently and must have included a Mule Crane or two in their purchase.  The tradition continues.

Thanks Bill for this photo and adding to the "Mule Crane" saga.


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