The Caterpillar Century

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9780760329610: The Caterpillar Century

Now an industry giant and a legend among American manufacturers, Caterpillar first got its name from Holt Manufacturing Company’s remarkable tractor creation of 1905. What followed was the Caterpillar century, an era of engineering revolutions and world-changing earthmovers. Eric Orlemann serves as tour guide through this time of American mechanical know-how and muscle, offering us a rare close-up look at the technology of Caterpillar’s most important equipment innovations, then and now.

Packed with contemporary photographs, archival images, and information on state-of-the-art equipment design, Caterpillar Century traces the evolution of this icon of industry from its emergence in 1905 to its making of modern day heavy-equipment marvels and development of future design prototypes.

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From the Back Cover:

“If that don’t look like a monster Caterpillar!”

—Charles Clements, credited with coining the name Caterpillar

 

With that momentous assessment of The Holt Manufacturing Company’s steam-powered track-type tractor, the Caterpillar Century commenced “one afternoon in the month of March 1905.” But, the story begins even earlier.

In 1886, both Benjamin Holt and Daniel Best were already at work building innovative machinery for California farmers. By the time The Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Co. merged to officially form the Caterpillar Tractor Co. in 1925, the two companies had already experienced numerous successes in the development of tractors, harvesters, machinery, and agricultural implements.

In the 100-plus years since the Caterpillar name was coined, the company has expanded well beyond its agricultural roots to become the top name in the earthmoving industry. The Caterpillar Century traces the development of the company’s equipment milestones, including nearly 300 photos—from early steam tractors, original prototypes, experimental machines, and restored antique models to today’s massive haul trucks, powerful dozers, versatile wheel loaders, gargantuan mining equipment, and much more.

About the Author:

Eric C. Orlemann has worked as a professional photographer and communications specialist in the industrial advertising field for over 27 years. As the proprietor of ECO Industrial Communications, he counts many of the large earthmoving equipment manufacturers in the industry as his clients. Over the years, Orlemann has amassed one of the world’s most significant private earthmoving photographic collections. In addition to authoring or co-authoring thirteen books concerning earthmoving equipment manufacturers, and various other ultra-large earthmovers, Orlemann has contributed numerous articles to the Equipment Echoes, the Historical Construction Equipment Association’s official newsmagazine. Orlemann has also acted as a technical consultant concerning heavy equipment for various popular cable television networks including The History Channel, The Learning Channel (TLC), and The Discovery Channel.

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