Ship Tools from the Propeller Indiana, Hand Truck

These hand tools were found in the engine and boiler space belowdecks in Indiana’s hold, indicating that they were used for the machinery. The crew used the shovel to add coal to the fires.
The hand truck—virtually identical to modern examples—is one of four found aboard Indiana and used for moving cargo into, out of, and around the cargo hold of the ship. This hand truck was the artifact that actually identified the vessel when it was located in 1972, for the words “PROPR INDIANA” were stamped into its handle. The other three had different ships’ names stamped on them, indicating that they were secondhand or borrowed equipment.
Object Name
hand truck
Date made
ca 1858
when the Indiana was found
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 61 in x 21 1/4 in x 17 1/8 in; 154.94 cm x 53.975 cm x 43.4975 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Energy & Power
Industry & Manufacturing
On the Water exhibit
Expansion and Reform
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water exhibit
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of William H. Cohrs and John Steele
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL

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