Misc Holdings

Misc equipment is in the collection mostly from the local area, but also some unusual gems.

Railroad Antique China

trolley530.jpg (11597 bytes)In addition to the classic coach that houses it the museum possesses one of the largest collections of Railroad China Dishes anywhere in the world. So much its not even possible to display it all! The complete sets of china are on display during museum hours, along with dining car sound effects to create a hint of the experience reminiscent of the golden age of a railroad dining experience.

Electric Trolley Car No. 530:

trolley530.jpg (11597 bytes)This four-wheeled streetcar was assembled in 1925 in Lisbon, Portugal, from American design (1902) and with American parts supplied by Brill Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia. It is typical of the early trolley cars operated in Duluth at the turn of the century. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, this trolley car operates along the main street of “Depot Square”, an exhibit portraying a 1900-1910 Duluth street scene.


McGiffert Self-Propelling Log Loader

Constructed by the Clyde Iron Works in Duluth in 1923, the rail-mounted log car loader was named after early Duluthian J.R. McGiffert, who invented and produced the original machine around 1900. The unique loader met with instant success with loggers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and as the machine’s fame spread rapidly, the McGifferts became commonplace on logging railroads throughout North America. Although some one thousand McGiffert self-propelling log loaders were constructed by the Clyde Iron Works, today only two others are known to exist. They are located at the Collier Logging Museum in Oregon. This particular McGiffert was used by the Long-Bell Lumber Company of Weed, CA.

A steam-powered, self-propelled machine, the McGiffert was able to load rail cars on the same track on which it stood. When loading, its trucks were hoisted up under the cab floor, permitting empty logging cars to pass through. The machine usually moved between loading sites under its own power, sometimes taking empty cars with it. When necessary to travel a considerable distance, a locomotive was used to pull the machine. The McGiffert loaded 350,000 board feet of lumber every day. It weighs 50 tons, stands 21 feet and 3 inches high, is 38 feet long, 13 feet and ten inches wide, and has a 45 foot boom length. The rail-mounted log loader was donated to the Museum by the International Paper Company, New York, and restored by the Hallet Dock Company, Duluth. Photo by Hannah Booth


United States Steel-Duluth Works
Ladle Car No. 6:

Built in 1915, the ladle car was used to carry molten slag from within the steel mill to the nearby slag dump. A large air cylinder on the car actuated dumping of the giant ladle. This car, as well as the charging bucket car and dinky locomotive No. 7, are the last pieces of equipment from US Steel’s huge steel-making operation in Duluth. It was donated to the Museum by US Steel Company. Photo by Hannah Booth