Simon Ingersoll

When Simon Ingersoll patented his steam-powered rock drill in 1871, diesel engines were still 20 years in the future - gasoline engines were 30 years away. Men were building and excavating, but it was labor-intensive, back-breaking work. At the time, workers averaged only eight to 10 feet of hole per day excavating rock. Ingersoll's drill was tripod mounted, required less manpower, worked faster and lasted longer. His invention marked the beginning of sweeping changes for the construction industry. Today, all rock drills incorporate Simon Ingersoll's innovation.