Does this picture make you happy or sad? Angry or peaceful? Your answer will probably depend on how you see a glass of water. Are they half full or half empty? Personally, I’m glad these machines are lined up here. They still exist and maybe their parts will allow other shovels to be reborn or continue to operate. In this lineup I believe the shovels toward the right that are displaying the Northwest nameplate are Model 80-D’s. Arguably the most iconic and long last design to ever roll from the shops at Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The model 80 proved to be a great triumph for Northwest with 2,600 being shipped to locations worldwide since 1933. Fourteen years later the Model 80-D with the instantly recognizable “bread box” housing would enter the market and remain a constant for decades to come. Fun fact, no one at Northwest remembers why the D was added to the name. Diesel maybe? Dracula? Probably not. But I can tell you I learned all this key information from Northwest Engineering Company, a Photographic Collection Volume II by M.E. Follsom and M. Torres.
And here we see what I believe to be another Model 80-D being ran by the preeminent Northwest operator of all times, Everette DeBerry. At 81 years young Everette puts all other operators to shame with unmatched skill and knowledge of these machines. Some have said watching him behind the controls of shovel is like watching a world class surgeon at work. The man and machine become one.
Below, a whole mix of stuff with more Northwest Machines and probably a few other makes and models. Thank you to Dave for sharing. And thank you to Folsom and Torres for putting together a truly wonderful history of Northwest machines. I highly encourage any heavy equipment fans to check out their work. Volume II contains over 200 pages of photos of machines in action, factory mock ups, vintage advertising, one off models and more. I’ve spent hours flipping through the book and always find something new just when I thought I’ve seen it all. Truly outstanding work.
For Volume I click here.
A tip of the hat to the person that can tell me what that poor old crane carcass once was!