I Had That! #33: Lego Steam Shovel With Carrier

This is the first Lego set I remember having.

I vaguely remember the circumstances surrounding when I got it. I sort of remember being at my grandmother’s (my father’s mother) apartment (condo?) in Baton Rouge. We were there because someone had died, possibly my maternal grandfather. I was five or so at the time, and didn’t really know any of my grandparents, so to keep me occupied and out of the way, this was given to me.

It’s fairly old-school Lego. Minifigs were still a few years away, the wheels are the old metal-pegged ones, and the bulk of the pieces are what we think of as “standard” rectangular bricks, the stuff people who don’t actually buy Lego think aren’t produced any more in favor of box after box of Millennium Falcon cockpits.

Looking at the set on Peeron, it’s clear I couldn’t rebuild it with my current parts, even if I still had the instructions. I don’t have the doors anymore, and while I thought I had that big chunky turntable still, the one I have is white, but the one that came with this set was black. (I have no idea where the white one came from, as looking through the sets that came with one of those reveals only five sets that I know I never had.) I may still have the blue 1×6 brick with the headlights and grill pattern, and I still have the yellow winch. The 1×2 brick with the Lego logo was a favorite for a long time but it’s disappeared. And I still have the weird axle with the long bar on top (it’s split into two pieces in the Peeron list, but here it is assembled).

I would sporadically have Lego sets for the next few years, but Christmas of 1978 would really start me on the path to Lego fandom, and I’ll talk about that later.

When did I get it? This set was released in 1973. I don’t believe we were living in Louisiana yet, and I started first grade there, so I’m thinking I got this in 1973 or maybe early 1974.

Do I still have it? I still have some of the pieces, but not all of them, and I don’t have the instructions.

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