Monday, November 5, 2012

Big Stone Moving Machine

This intriguing rather well-preserved contraption is an early rock moving machine which is on display outside of the Dufferin County Museum in Ontario. It's quite large.
I tried to find out a bit more about how it worked but there was no information. Apparently there are several others like it still in tact in Ontario. They are all based on some sort of geared system for lifting rocks using a team of horses. The wheels are helpful in straddling big boulders and hauling them off the field and then straddling a dry stone wall to deposit the rock carefully on top.

This looks easy. I just need to find a team of horses now


  1. Hey John,
    Great topic! I'm sure Eric probably knows how that specific one works..we discussed this topic a lot on his current project. Too bad I missed you guys when you came for a visit.


  2. Does that machine have a name I wonder.

  3. The archivist at the museum referred to it as a boulder lifting machine I believe.

  4. interesting contraption. not sure, though, how it would (or if it could) straddle a wall to deposit a boulder on top?

    curious too about the geared wheel to lift the stones. if that used horse power, wouldn't it be necessary to unhitch the horses from the 'wagon' and then brake the wagon in some secure fashion so the horses in attempting to turn the wheel wouldn't simply pull it along the ground (and away from the boulder)?

    if Eric knows about this as Sean says, let's ask him?

  5. On this great restoration site they are calling it a 'stump and stone puller' - it looks like horses did move the machine into position then the stone was winched by hand from a pulley system - I think.

  6. Thanks for this link Lime Window. Amazing to see one being built.

  7. I wonder why other professionals don’t notice your website much m glad I found this.
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  8. I think this was invented in eastern Ontario theres one at tge gpengarry pioneer museum and I believe it states that it was invented either locally or by a local