Short-Handled Shovels

Posted by Ellen

In 1910, most of the excavation work for the new Michigan Central railroad station in Detroit was still being done with the loathesome short-handled shovels. In the background of this photo, however, we can glimpse the excavators of the future: smoke-belching job-killers, aka steam shovels.

The men are wearing hats, but not hard hats.

The Michigan Central Station survives today, I'm told, "if just barely." Short-handled shovels, too, are still around, in real life but more spectacularly in the blues.