Designation of the Fresno Scraper as an Engineering Landmark
Designation of the Fresno Scraper as an Engineering Landmark

On March 26, 2011, in a ceremony at the Museum, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) designated the Fresno Scraper as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. Following a welcome by Claude Brown, P.E., the President of the San Joaquin County Historical Society, and Chad Johnson, P.E., Chair of the Mt. Diablo Section of ASME, Richard Pawliger, P.E., the Chair of the ASME Committee on History and Heritage, explained the landmark program, which has named about 250 noteworthy engineering breakthroughs.

William Adams, Jr., P.E. (retired), summarized the importance of the Fresno Scraper, developed in the San Joaquin Valley in the late 1880s. The horse-drawn device was used to build irrigation ditches and level farmland for irrigation. It later was used throughout the world, including in the construction of the Panama Canal and the early levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It was the forerunner of virtually all subsequent earthmoving implements.

The ASME landmark plaque was unveiled and presented by past ASME president Robert Nickel, P.E., to Larry Ruhstaller, chair of the County Board of Supervisors, and Ken Vogel, Supervisor, County of San Joaquin.

David Stuart, Executive Director of the Historical Society and Museum, introduced the exhibition on earthmoving equipment now being developed at the Museum. He invited the 65 attendees to visit a "preview" of the exhibition in the Brown-Jones Building and to see the 1919 Holt 75 Caterpillar Tractor being restored by volunteers in the Museum's restoration workshop in the Hammer Building.