Barnhart Log Loader at Pennsylvania Lumber Museum

Sharing the Common Wealth showcases objects, artifacts, documents, structures and buildings from the collections of PHMC.

The introduction, in 1885, of steam-powered log loaders to efficiently load logs on rail cars and replace tedious, back-breaking manual labor, revolutionized the country’s logging industry. Two years later, Henry Barnhart, co-founder of the Marion Power Shovel Company, Marion, Ohio, developed the Barnhart loader, which proved to be, along with the Barnhart Model 10, the most popular loader used in Pennsylvania’s lumber region. A loader crew of three – an operator and two longmen (so called for the tons used to gather lumber) – could load one hundred thousand feet of logs each day! The Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton, Potter County, undertook a ten-year restoration of a Barnhart Model 10. Of the hundreds of Barnhart log loaders manufactured during the heyday of steam-powered equipment, the museum’s Model 10 is believed to be the only extant example.