Little Giant – The Companion to Big Brutus
Meet “Little Giant,” the world’s smallest working replica of an early-day electric mining shovel. This model, built by a hobbyist in Kansas over an 11-year period in the 1930s and 1940s, was purchased in 1946 by The Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Co. (P&M), a Chevron company. Constructed on a scale of one inch to one foot, “Little Giant” is complete in every detail. It has approximately 30,000 rivets and 2,000 bolts, and weighs 700 pounds. Despite its size, “Little Giant” serves a big purpose. It has been displayed at state fairs, conventions, and civic gatherings to demonstrate how full-sized coal mining equipment functions. By understanding the functioning of this model, one can gain a deeper appreciation of its mammoth successor machines, called “draglines,” that have scooped up millions and millions of tons of earth to expose rich coal seams below. “Little Giant” not only represents the history of coal mining but also symbolizes the commitment to the environment by the coal miners, who always ensured the reclamation of mined land.