Brenda Eck

Big Brutus, the Kansas Coal Shovel

(1 customer review)

Big Brutus put the oooohs and aaahs in the backyard of the Heartlands! Miles before you reach this retired giant, you can see it on the horizon south of West Mineral, Kansas.

Also available through Amazon, BN, or ask for it wherever books are sold.



Fun facts about BIG BRUTUS!

• Designed and built by Bucyrus-Erie for the Pittsburg & Midway (P&M) Coal Mining Company

• 150 railroad cars were needed to bring all the parts

• Bucyrus Erie Model 1850B is the only one of its kind ever built

• Largest electric shovel in the world

• 16 stories tall (160 feet)

• Weighs 11 million pounds

• Boom is 150 feet long

• Dipper capacity 90 cu. yds (by heaping, 150 tons—enough to fill three railroad cars)

• Maximum speed .22 MPH

• Cost $6.5 million (in 1962)

On July 13, 1985, Big Brutus was dedicated as “a Museum and Memorial Dedicated to the Rich Coal Mining History in Southeast Kansas.”

In September 1987, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) designated Big Brutus a Regional Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, the 10th since 1971 to be so designated.

Big Brutus is a museum open year round. Hours vary with the season. Click to visit Big Brutus web site or call (620) 827-6177 for more information.

Book is also available through Amazon and BN or ask for it wherever books are sold.

About the Author

Brenda Eck lives in rural Kansas. She enjoys reading, quilting, and traveling with her children, grandchildren, and friends. After retiring from teaching, she completed her first children’s book, Big Brutus, the Kansas Coal Shovel, the story of the restoration and preservation of a massive excavator near Pittsburg, Kansas.

Brenda also wrote, My Two Great Aunts, a story about personality differences. How personality differences can cause all sorts of conflicts for family members who share a home, but not for these two sisters. Aunt Mary Ann and Aunt Agnes discover life improves for both of them when they cherish their similarities and embrace their differences. In the process, they teach lessons about tolerance and appreciation of diversity.

About the Illustrator

Illustrated by Jessie Pohl.

Additional information


Brenda Eck


Jessie Pohl



Trim size

8.5″ x 11″

Page count



Juvenile Nonfiction
• Curiosities & Wonders

• Stories in Rhyme – Poetry – General
• United States/State & Local

Books by author

• Big Brutus, the Kansas Coal Shovel
• My Two Great Great Aunts



1 review for Big Brutus, the Kansas Coal Shovel

  1. Elaine Elmer

    Big sight in Kansas. Great little book on a great Kansas sight [Big Brutus, the largest electric coal shovel in the world.]

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