Dr. John H. Niemelä, “A History of R.G. LeTourneau’s Earliest Scrapers,” Ver. 1.1B 10–31–07, MoL©
MOUNTAIN MOVER TIMELINE
1888 (November 30): Robert Gilmour LeTourneau born in Richland, Vermont.1919 (early summer): R.G.’s first experience operating a Holt 75 with a Holt leveler.1920: Convert two-man Schmeiser drag scraper behind Holt 75 to one-man electric control.1921: Convert two-man Holt leveler behind Holt 75 to one-man electric control.1921 (after May): Built one-man electric controlled full-drag scraper at Moss Avenue.1922 (Spring): Built the Gondola, the first large semi-drag scraper operated by one man.1922 (mid-June): Built the Mountain Mover, a telescoping-bowl semi-drag scraper.1922 (July 13): Application (for patent 1,512,614) reached the U.S. Patent Office.1922 (July 15):
photo of Gondola working at San Joaquin County Fair.1922 (September 27): Application (for patent 1,470,853) reached the U.S. Patent Office.1923 (October 16): Patent 1,470,853 granted, “Scraper [with telescoping bowl].”1924 (October 21): Patent 1,512,614 granted, “Scraper and Spreader.”1922–26: Eph[raim] Hahn operated the Mountain-Mover as R.G.’s employee.1926: Andrew Maestretti bought the Mountain Mover and quickly sold it to Eph Hahn.(1926–44): Disc wheels replaced Mountain Mover’s spoked front-wheels.1943: Eph Hahn sold the Mountain Mover to his brother, Clarence.1944: Clarence Hahn interview and current pictures of Mountain Mover appeared in
.(1944–60): Height of the Mountain Mover was reduced to enable transport under low bridges.(1944–60): Telescopic feature disabled (due to D8’s power), possibly when height reduced.(1944–60): Hitch converted to gooseneck style for improving maneuverability.(1944–60): Provision for removable transport dolly attached to Mountain Mover.Early 1950s: Eph Hahn’s son, Harold, bought the Mountain Mover, when Clarence retired.Latter 1950s: Harold Hahn entered plumbing, basically idling the Mountain Mover.1959–60: Mountain Mover photographed for
Mover of Men and Mountains
.1967: R.G. and Harold Hahn photographed with Mountain Mover near Manteca, CA.1969 (June 1): Robert Gilmour LeTourneau died in Longview, Texas.1974 (September): Mountain Mover dismantled and moved from California to Longview, TX.
*1974–75: The Mountain Mover restored at LeTourneau University’s ATP Building.
*1975 (or early 1976): Mountain Mover placed in front of the Margaret Estes Library.
*1989 (November 30): Mountain Mover placed in new R.G. LeTourneau Memorial Park.
*2004 (November 29): Mountain Mover named Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
“[Mountain Mover Arrives at LeTourneau University],”
28 (October 1974): . One picture shows sixpeople in its bowl. Charles Able, “Dirt Mover Is Located,”
Longview [TX] Morning Journal
(February 22, 1976): 3-A, said, “It [the Mountain Mover] was shipped to Longview in two pieces and reassembled at the ATP plant.”
The ATP Building (no longer there) was near the southeast corner of campus. Four pictures show thesections of the Mountain Mover’s frame in Longview. “[Mountain Mover in Pieces near ATP Building],” fourpictures: A–D, [about 1975]. Also, “[Mountain Mover at University],” shows its scraper bowl.
The scrapers went in front of the Margaret Estes Library. “Campus Map,” LeTourneau University, has a“13,” designating the “Jeannette S. Belcher Memorial Tower/Belcher Mall,” where the machines were located afterFebruary 1976. Able, “Dirt Mover Located,” 3-A, says about the pictured Mountain Mover, “The scrapers [the 1922Mountain Mover and the 1927 Gondola] . . . will soon be on permanent display on the college campus. ¶“Althoughno specific site for their retirement has been selected, Dr. Joe Winniger, LeTourneau College spokesman, said of theold, ‘They are here to stay.’” For more than ten years the scrapers rested near Estes Library.
“Campus Map” designates this area as 17–18. The November 30, 1989, Founder’s Day ceremony was R.G.’s101st birthday. Philip G. Gowenlock,
The LeTourneau Legend
, ed. Kerrie L. Gowenlock (Paddington, Queensland,Australia: Paddington, 1996), 286–87; Philip G. Gowenlock,
The LeTourneau Archive,
ed. Kerrie L. Gowenlock (Paddington, Queensland, Australia: Paddington, 1998), 2 and 74; and Eric C. Orlemann,
,ed. Kris Palmer (St. Paul, MN: MBI, 2001), 13, depict memorial site scenes.