Used to lift molten iron to molds where it was cast into pipe, jib cranes were the sole means of conveyance in the pit-casting process. When pit casting was replaced by centrifugal casting in the 1920s, many pits were filled and the cranes were used to produce cast iron fittings or general maintenance work. Only one jib crane remained at the American Cast Iron Pipe Company in recent years, and it was probably the last pit-cast jib crane to operate, which it did until it was given to the Sloss Furnace Museum in early 1986.
The world's first high-speed, dockside container-handling cranes reduced ship turnaround time from three weeks to eighteen hours. They became the model and set the standard for future designs worldwide. In service January 7, 1959, the A-frame cranes built at Encinal Terminals in Alameda, California, were designed to move large quantities of products with less handling, less damage, and less pilferage. Under the leadership of C. Dean Ramsden, P.E., the Pacific Coast Engineering Company (PACECO Inc.) met performance specifications developed by the Matson Navigation Company.