Russian factory seeks information on its crane

7 December 2000

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The owner of an overhead crane installed in a factory in Russia more than 100 years ago is seeking information about the crane before passing it on to a museum.

Metrowagonmash, a joint stock company which manufactures trams, buses, municipal and military vehicles, has owned and used the 10 ton rated crane since it was built and installed in the company's machine building plant in Mytischi near the capital, Moscow.

The crane dates back to the very origins of the company. Metrowagonmash grew out of the Mytischi Machine-building Plant, which was founded in 1897 to make cars for the Russian North Railway and, six years later, tram cars for Moscow.

The provenance of the crane is indicated by a plate on the bridge which reads: "Built by The Case ManFG Co. Columbus, Ohio, 1898. This crane has the Thompson automatic retaining hoisting gearing no brake to hold the load." The last line of the sign reads: "Patented Nov 9 1897", followed by a patent number which appears to be 593353 or maybe 596253.

Vladislav Drozdinski, head of foreign economic relations at Metrowagonmash, would like to hear from any reader who has any knowledge of the history of this crane. He can be contacted at [email protected] Further information on the company is available at