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Big Brutus, West Mineral

#31 of 153 in Museums in Kansas
Big Brutus is the nickname of the Bucyrus-Erie model 1850B electric shovel, which was the second largest of its type in operation in the 1960s and 1970s. Big Brutus is the centerpiece of a mining museum in West Mineral, Kansas where it was used in coal strip mining operations. The shovel was designed to dig from 20to in relatively shallow coal seams.DescriptionBig Brutus is 160ft high and weighs 11 million pounds . The bucket holds 90cuyd or 150 tons . Maximum speed is 0.22 MPH . It cost $6.5 million in 1962 when it was shipped in 150 railroad cars to be assembled in Kansas. It was used until 1974 when it became uneconomical to mine coal at the site. At that time it was considered too big to move and was left in place.Big Brutus, while not the largest electric shovel ever built, is the largest electric shovel still in existence. The Captain, at 28 million pounds, was the largest shovel and one of the two largest land-based mobile machines ever built. It was scrapped in 1992.MuseumThe Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Company donated Big Brutus in 1984 as the core of a mining museum which opened in 1985. In 1987, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers designated Big Brutus a Regional Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.The museum offers tours and camping.
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Big Brutus Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
82 reviews
  • I don't know if there is another place in the world you can see something like this. Going up inside Big Brutus reminded us Floridians of bring on a ship.  more »
  • Do not miss this marvel of engineering. It is hard to imagine that this huge mass of machinery could run. It is my belief that Americans today could not make this operate as it did in the past.  more »
  • I took two older gentleman to Big Brutus today and they really enjoyed their visit. We learn so much stuff and watching the video they have in the museum is worth it. You learn a lot of things about the construction of Big Brutus. We were able to climb up into Big Brutus and check out some of the major systems of the big giant including sitting in the seat where the controller sat. Keep in mind that all ages can enjoy this attraction but if you want to get inside of the unit you're going to have to climb several ladders that might be difficult for older people. We all thought that it was a very unique attraction and worth the visit. As of 9/11/ 2019 an adult ticket was $8 senior citizen was $7.50 each.
  • My kids loved stopping to see Big Brutus. They loved being able to climb up stairs inside and sit in the control room. If you have a chance, stop and see this great piece of history.

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