Oct 312017
 
Old Jack's

It’s a frigid and blustery weekend, April 2017. There’s this biting cold, a constant numbness. We’re here on on the plains of Saskatchewan, north of this little town, west of that one, a place sparsely populated, fields stretching off to the horizon in every direction. All around, the trying conditions, the wind, the snow, this […]

Oct 182017
 
CNR #1158 at the Western Development Museum

If you have a thing for history and find yourself in North Battleford Saskatchewan the Western Development Museum is a must see. It’s a fantastic facility, good sized, well regarded, with numerous exhibits indoor and out. One highlight is a representation of a 1920s era pioneer village just like one of thousands that used to […]

Aug 302017
 
Canadian National Railways #1392

Stop the presses folks…we’ve reached a milestone here. This post, which you’ll soon be enjoying, is the 1000th here at BIGDoer.com. Yes, our society has produced that many pieces and in only five years to boot! Not 1000 simple photo essays, but rather painstakingly researched history write ups, in-depth articles covering all manner of things […]

May 152017
 
Argosy 28

It looks like an Airstream. In fact the old motorhome that’s the topic today was made by a sister company, this line and the other both sharing a strong family resemblance. Introducing the Argosy. Considered a “budget” camper by the firm, not that they were really all that inexpensive…just less so than the true Airstreams […]

Mar 282017
 
Stettler County Collection – Part 2

Give us an old scrap yard to explore and we’re happy campers. Dirty, full of dangers, it’s hardly a place one would think fun, but to aficionados of the decrepit and all things damned, Team BIGDoer, it’s a giant amusement park. All the cast-away things found there, they’re not shiny and new, but ancient, worn […]

Mar 102017
 
Stettler County Collection - Part 1

Scrap yards are filthy dirty places, full of dangers and populated by big brawny men in grease soaked clothing, dudes you give lots of room. They roam around in “road warrior” service trucks, hammers, wrenches and cutting torches at the ready. This is where old vehicles, machinery and anything that’s cast, alloyed, rolled or forged […]

Feb 072017
 
The Big Red Bus

Affectionately she’s the Big Old Red Transit Bus or simply just Big Red. Spending a great deal of its almost fifty year working career in Calgary, hauling commuters or in charter service, it’s now in semi-retirement and resides with a collector in Edmonton. This iconic “Fishbowl”, the most common transit bus of its era, runs […]

Oct 072016
 
Autocar Coal Hauler

Our subject today, a monster truck, in retirement but looking fine and in fully running condition, that once hauled coal in the Crowsnest Pass of Alberta. A shiny bright blue, an almost playful colour belying its brutish, all business/no-nonsense demeanour, it’s taken out once in a while for a shakedown run. And for this one […]

Aug 152016
 
Under Wraps

This pair of cocooned locomotives call Nelson British Columbia home. It’s hoped they will eventually be put on display near the town’s restored railway station but for now are stored nearby on a siding, not publicly accessible and “under wraps”, awaiting the next move. Both date from the 1950s and while unseen under all those […]

Aug 042016
 
Crowsnest Collection - Second Helping

Time for the eagerly awaited second instalment in the series where we explore the many vintage vehicles that make up the Crowsnest Collection in Southwest Alberta. There’s an incredibly interesting mix here, trucks mostly, dating back as far as the 1930s, and as recent as the 1980s. Of varied makes and models, most of are […]

Jul 192016
 
SS Hosmer

The remains of an ancient tugboat can be found not terribly far from Nelson British Columbia. This craft, the wood-hulled SS Hosmer, was launched over a century ago and for many decades worked hauling barges loaded with rail cars up and down that huge body of water (more on this in a bit). Later it […]

Jul 052016
 
GE Dash 8-40CM

Here’s an uncommon find, not one but count ’em, two, old GE Dash 8-40CM locomotives belonging to Canadian National Railways, found along a Saskatchewan secondary line. For someone who resides in the Canadian Pacific Railway-centric world of Southern Alberta, which the company almost monopolizes, seeing that “other” railway is a real treat. That we captured […]

Jun 162016
 
Case Steam Tractor

A metal leviathan, this steam tractor was built close to a hundred years ago. Today it resides at Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta where on occasion it’s fired-up, transforming it into a fire-breathing, steam hissing, smoke belching monster put to work entertaining visitors to the venue. At rest on our visit, we take some […]

Jun 072016
 
DNR Excavator

Found at Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta (a great place, BTW, if you love old metal), the leviathan earth mover we’ll be documenting is known as a DNR Excavator. Curious looking, as though random bits of machinery were thrown together by someone without a clue as to what they were to do, it actually […]

May 262016
 
GMC L7000 V12

This short and stocky brute, a GMC L7000, can be found at Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta. A bit tattered with faded orange paint, it looks as though it’d be ready to get back to work with minimal notice. Where’s that next load going? Hidden from view behind some exhibit halls, perhaps it’s waiting […]

May 122016
 
Draglines and Shovels - Reynolds Alberta Museum

A heavenly place for lovers of vintage metal and machinery, the Reynolds-Alberta Museum is home to today’s subjects, several giant mining shovels and draglines. These humongous beasts are connected historically to various coal mines in the province and date back as far as a hundred years. Impressive at a distance, doubly so (no, a million […]