Donkey, Skagit #1183 Gas "Little Tugger"

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Steam donkeys were still the rage in the early 1920s when little Skagit Steel and Iron Works of Sedro-Woolley, Washington introduced a new machine to the logging world. Powered by a 20 HP Fordson tractor, the double drum winch cost $1300, about the same as the cheapest small steam donkey. The hoist was aimed initially at the farmer as a dual-purpose device, used for land clearing in the off season, but quickly restorable to its Fordson tractor functions for tilling and other farm chores. With the arrival of the Great Depression, the limited and cut-back operations and the changing of methods to trucks and “gypo” loggers combined to provide the market for Little Tuggers in logging. The era of High Ball steam railroading and huge steam skidders was coming to an end. The little donkey proved its worth as a cold deck machine, “chunking out” road and railroad right-of-way, skidding and loading for the small Gypo. The Skagit Little Tugger was a milestone in the development of logging technology and was the first even mildly successful gas-powered donkey. This Skagit Little Tugger, Model A-1, Construction Number 1138, is owned by Chris Baldo of Willits Redwood Company.