A fully operational scale model of a Bucyrus steam shovel that Birk finished in 2007. The original was built in 1912 by Bucyrus Foundry and Manufacturing Company in Bucyrus, Ohio. The company was an early manufacturer of earth moving equipment. In 1927, Bucyrus merged with the Erie Steam Shovel Company to form Bucyrus-Erie.

Birk built this impressive model entirely from scratch. At the suggestion of one of his neighbors, Birk would use the model to dispense candy from the bucket for the neighborhood children. He noted that the colors chosen for the model are probably not authentic, but color photos of the 1912 original were unavailable. The model duplicates all of the functions of the real steam shovel. Though most models were equipped with tank-like treads, this early model operated on four wheels.

Birk Petersen created a vast array of projects over his lifetime, ranging from miniature engines to hand-cranked animations and more. He built functional miniatures like a 1/3 scale Gatling gun or a 1/4 scale Case steam tractor, but he also built mechanical creations for the fun and enjoyment of his family. When Birk passed away in 2015, his family graciously donated over 150 items from his collection for display at the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, where they are currently on display. We thank the Petersen family for sharing his extensive collection, which demonstrates the broad interests and many talents of Birk Petersen.

Exhibit added: May 7, 2016 - Last modified: January 24, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship