Objects in the Museum Courtyard

Universal Cable Excavator, Model Mb II

Manufacturer: Menck & Hambrock GmbH, Hamburg-Altona, 1937
Serial number: 23193
Technical specifications:
Weight including extension arm and clamshell: 40 tons
Engine: 3-cylinder Deutz, 79kW (105 BHP)
Dimensions: length 16.70m; width: 3.00m; height: 4.05m
The excavator is in full working order.

The machinery factory Menck & Hambrock was founded in 1868 in Ottensen, which in those days was still a village close to Altona. In 1901, the company launched their first excavator. As the construction boom at the beginning of the 20th century kicked off, Menck & Hambrock increased their production and set up global trade partnerships. The blue excavators dug saltpetre in Chile, canals in Sweden, asbestos in Russian mines and moved rocks and boulders in quarries on the Canary Islands. They played a role in Hitler’s Autobahn building programme in the 1930s, and later helped to rebuild Germany’s ruins after the end of the war.

In 1978 Menck & Hambrock ceased making excavators. Modern hydraulic excavators increasingly superseded the traditional cable excavators and Menck & Hambrock lost their leading position on the market. Cable excavators are still used today to dig particularly deep pits.

Museum of work

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Opening hours

Monday 10.00 - 21.00
Tuesday closed
Wednesday - Friday 10.00 - 17.00
Saturday and Sunday 10.00 - 18.00


TRUDE is probably the biggest and hungriest lady in Hamburg. In around 2 ½ years she chewed her way under the Elbe River, digging the fourth bore of the Elbe Tunnel in the process. On her way from Waltershof to Othmarschen, a distance of 2,560 meters, she moved approximately 400, 000 cubic meters of soil. The name TRUDE is an acronym for Tief Runter Unter Die Elbe (deep down under the Elbe) and it describes where TRUDE was employed. The 14.2m and 380t cutter wheel of the Elbe tunnel boring machine stands in the courtyard of the Museum der Arbeit as a technical monument.

Road Roller MW 12 Emil

Technical details

Manufacturer: Henschel Werke AG, Kassel
Type: WSA3/15
Serial number: 15640017/47
Built in: 1964
Motor: 3-cylinder Deutz, 29kW (40 BHP)
Weight: 10 tons

This piece of machinery is in full working order. The original Porsche diesel engine was replaced with a Deutz diesel engine when it became difficult to obtain spare parts. The roller has a three-speed hydraulic transmission and hydraulically assisted steering. Behind the right rear wheel there is a hydraulically lowered device to which a tool could be attached to tear up asphalt. The blue paint and red trim was the original colour scheme selected by the lender. The roller was christened Emil, after the owner’s son. On loan from the collection of Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Lerch, Hamburg.