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Vulcan: The First Hundred Years


It was inevitable that a product line as long in duration as Vulcan's would attract attention outside of the deep foundations industry. In the course of developing the "Tools" program on various types of construction equipment and techniques, the Atlas Media Group (which did productions for The History Channel) contacted Vulcan. In July 2005 their film crew headed down to the yard of Rush and Parker in West Collingswood Heights, NJ, to film Vulcan #2 Hammer, S/N 463, in action in the yard. The hammer was produced in 1908, which meant that the hammer was 97 years old at the time of filming. Below are some photographs from that shoot.

Getting organised for the shoot. In the orange shirt is Bernie Delargey, principal of Rush and Parker and the host of this event. At the left was Dr. David Rogers, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Missouri at Rolla. His primary expertise for this process was the history of caissons in general and Chicago caissons in particular. The fact that the Vulcan hammers were developed in Chicago during this period underscores the fact that the impetus for Vulcan hammers were not Chicago's tall buildings but its marine structures, reflecting the marine interests of the Warrington family.

Interview in the yard with Dr. Rogers. The idea of interviewing him the yard was great on paper, but suffered from one serious reality check: the yard was below the flight pattern for the Philadelphia airport, across the Delaware River. The interview process had to be stopped every few minutes as jets flew overhead. This meant that his interview took much longer than scheduled. The subsequent interview was done inside.

Putting the hammer in the leads, always an operation done with care.

Putting the oiler "on line." Line lubrication is important for the Vulcan hammer, even for a "limited" test such as this one.

Deep foundation? A wood pile cut-off being brought out to be driven in the yard. Hopefully the crew will film fast.

Getting a close-up shot of the McDermid base, which enables the hammer to drive wood piles directly. A regular jobsite would not afford the close-up opportunity that the controlled conditions of this test did.

Filming the hammer in action, driving pile as it has done for nearly a century.

Another shot of the hammer in action.

The footage from this day in the yard--or rather, the little that was actually used--was first shown in March 2006.
Driven Pile Manual Volume 1a
Driven Pile Manual 1b
Driven Pile Manual 2