Archive

Each week Corporate Heritage Services opens its historical collection to share stories of its people and chronicle over 90 years of innovation. Below is a complete compilation of past artifacts, images, stories and videos.

GENERATING POWER AROUND THE WORLD


c. 1970 - Cat® generator sets work everywhere around the world. Watch how they support our customers in Ecuador and Montreal.

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Did You Know Caterpillar Had a Baby?


1912 - Holt Caterpillar introduced its first “baby” to the public. Read more about this fascinating story from our historical collection.

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CATERPILLAR ANTIQUE IN INDIA


2016 – Caterpillar tractors have been working in India for over 100 years. This antique is on display outside our facility in Thiruvallur, India.

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Caterpillar Value First Proven on the Australian Continent


1913 - Caterpillar products have been sold in Australia for over 100 years. Read about our first customers and the amazing story how the machines got there.

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CATERPILLAR AND WORLD WAR I


1917 – Over 100 years ago, the U.S. Congress voted to declare war on the Central Powers. Caterpillar machines successfully supported the Allied Powers during World War I. View this rare, silent film that shows Murray Baker of the Holt Manufacturing Company, U.S. General John Pershing, and others inspecting tractors in East Peoria.

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MAKING HISTORY IN VIETNAM


1995 - Built in the 1930s, this Cat D13000 Marine Engine was the oldest working Cat engine in Vietnam.

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ARIZONA PROVING GROUNDS


c. 1965 - Cat D7 track-type tractor working at the Caterpillar Arizona Proving Grounds.

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First Caterpillar Track-Type Tractor Sold


2009 - Holt No. 111 is an amazing steam-powered, full size replica of the first Caterpillar track-type tractor ever sold. The builder, Don Hunter, spent nine years constructing this amazing machine. Don is not with us today but we recognize his accomplishment.

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LET IT SNOW


1927 - Caterpillar Snow Bogy advertisement decal.

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS IN 1950


1950 - "To grandmother's house we go" print advertisement.

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GOLD STANDARD


1991 - Caterpillar Diesel Sixty scale model. This model was created to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Caterpillar's first diesel tractor.

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WESTERN FRONT


1917 - World War I postcard with an image of Holt track-type tractors.

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ONE OF OUR OLDEST DEALERS


2015 - Cat dealer WM. H. Ziegler Co., Inc. replica sign. Ziegler has been a Cat dealer since 1925.

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GETTING IT DONE


c. 1980 - Caterpillar employee pin.

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VINTAGE CAT® PRODUCTS IN ACTION


1950-1960 - See a mix of Cat historical products created from vintage film footage from our Heritage Services collection.

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Building Modern Wonders


1931 - Caterpillar Sixty tractor with LeTourneau wagon on the start of the Hoover Dam project.

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Empowering The World With Energy From Caterpillar


1981-2016 - 35th Anniversary of the Cat® 3500 Engine Platform

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Power Tools


1958 - Caterpillar power truck operator employee badge.

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The Making of a Legend


1977 - First Cat D10 Tractor production team.

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Can I Take a Look?


2003 - Cat 3600 Engine Mechanical Unit Injector Cut-Away. This injector was presented to a Caterpillar employee for his efforts in the test and development of the 3600 Electronic Unit Injector at the Caterpillar Technical Center, Mossville, Illinois.

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Fifteen In A Field


2015 - A Caterpillar employee poses next to an abandoned Caterpillar Fifteen Track-Type Tractor outside Rapid City, South Dakota.

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The Best in Logging


ca. 1895 - Daniel Best and Holt steam tractors logging together in California.

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Air Service for Parts Delivery


1928 - Even in the late 1920s, Caterpillar used new and innovative ways to serve its customers, including using airplane services for parts delivery.

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Creating A Modern Wonder of the World

In 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers elected the Itaipu Dam as one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World, and Cat® products played a role in building it.

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Diesel Fifty Down Under

1933 - The first Caterpillar Diesel Fifty is sold in Australia.

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Track-Type Tractor of the Future

c. 1990 - Our Industrial Design team is known for their visionary drawings of Cat equipment. This drawing depicts what a Track-Type Tractor might look like in the future.

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Holt 18 on Parade

1917 - Holt 18 track-type tractor on parade during World War I, Peoria, Illinois.

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Early Logo Concept

c. 1914 - This early concept logo attempts to represent the names given to early Holt and Best machines. Holt called their machines "Caterpillars" but the C. L. Best Tractor Co. called theirs Tracklayers.

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A Job Well Done

1942 - Caterpillar female employees being recognized for a job well done while working at the East Peoria Plant during World War II.

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Our California 49er

Les Ashworth worked for Caterpillar and its predecessor companies for 49 years and witnessed first-hand the evolution of steam traction engines to gasoline to diesel.

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Tabulating Machine

ca. 1940 - This tabulating machine was used at Caterpillar to calculate the cost of steel during World War II.

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Peoria Ag Lab

1941 - a Cat D4 worked on construction of the Peoria Ag Lab.

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Marketing in Peru

1928 - Caterpillar 2-Ton Track-Type Tractor Print Advertisement, Peru.

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Caterpillar Trail

Construction on the Caterpillar Trail in East Peoria began in 1916. The vision for a five-mile scenic highway was conceived by none other than Murray Baker of the Holt Manufacturing Company.

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Brazil

1954 - Caterpillar forms a new subsidiary – Caterpillar Brazil S.A. – Maquinas e Pecas.

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1st Backhoe Loader

Expanded Cat Backhoe Line on display in 1986.

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Hollywood

1923 - C.L. Best Tractors Go Hollywood - C.L Best tractors and the erection of the original "Hollywoodland" sign.

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Building a Brand

c. 1967 - Caterpillar introduces its first corporate symbol along with its seventh trademark design.

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Caterpillar Goer

1965 - Design model of a Caterpillar Goer heavy tactical truck that was designed for the U.S. government.

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Out of this World

c. 1990 - This futuristic drawing by Caterpillar Industrial Design illustrates what Cat products may look like working in space.

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Holt Metal Screwdriver

c. 1920 - All-metal screwdriver provided by The Holt Manufacturing Company. One side of the handle says: "Caterpillar Gas Tractors Combined Harvesters." The other side says: "Compliments of The Holt Manufacturing Co. Spokane, Wash."

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Sales Tractor

1935 - This decorative tractor, pictured in East Peoria, was used in a parade at a Caterpillar sales meeting.

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Making Music

1915 - The Caterpillar Band formed at the Stockton, CA plant of The Holt Manufacturing Company. Here the band poses at a train station on their way to the World's Fair (Panama-Pacific Exhibition) in San Francisco.

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Roads in India

c. 1930s - The road to progress begins with a road. A Cat track-type tractor and Cat scraper are making roads in India.

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Caterpillar Sixty Tows Airplane

1928 - Caterpillar Sixty towing "Southern Cross" across airport at Oakland just before its hop for Australia. The Southern Cross then took off on the first trans-Pacific flight from the U.S. to Australia.

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Uncle Ben's Innovation Workshop

Benjamin Holt was an interesting character who was fascinated by the innovative machines of his day. He rode on new inventions of his times, such as the automobile, airplane and even the Zeppelin.

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Soldier Field

1923 - Holt 10-Ton track-type tractor working on the construction of Soldier Field.

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Just call him Louie

His name was Louis B. Neumiller, but everyone called him Louie. He will always be remembered as Caterpillar’s third Chairman and President, but what made him tick? In many ways he was really no different than all of us.

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An Evolution of a Logo

1967 - The Caterpillar Tractor Co. didn't have an official corporate symbol until September 1967, when the logo commonly referred to as the “Block C” was introduced.

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Caterpillar Showroom Postcard

c. 1930 - We’ve always been eager to show off our yellow iron to dealers, customers and community members. This postcard depicts the Caterpillar Showroom in the street-front portion of Building HH in East Peoria. Thousands of people visited the exhibition each year.

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Patent Book

c. 1880 - The innovations and inventions in these patent ledgers date back to the days of Holt and Best. Many of these innovations led to the company’s success through difficult times such as the Great Depression.

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Caterpillar and the Panama Canal

1963 - Cat® equipment has been used to widen the Panama Canal over the years. In this photo, a wheel-tractor scraper and two tractors can be seen working on the Canal.

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Caterpillar Mixed Chorus Club Pin

1966 - The Caterpillar Employees Mixed Chorus Club is a musical outlet open to all employees, retirees and Caterpillar employee dependents. Caterpillar has sponsored the club for 74 years, making it the oldest employee activity of its kind in the world. This pin commemorates one employee's 25th year of membership in the Mixed Chorus Club.

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90 Years Celebrated in China

2015 - Caterpillar employees in China celebrated our anniversary in a big way. Employees at the Caterpillar Research and Development Center in Wuxi spent 30 minutes arranging themselves to spell out “Cat” “90” and “CRDC.” With pride and cheers, employees raised their hands and waved them high into the sky as a photographer captured the scene.

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Movement to Joysticks

1992 - What a joy! The Cat® 992D Wheel Loader was the first rubber-tired loader to be introduced without a steering wheel. The joystick controls both steering and gear shifting. This joystick is called the STIC control system.

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Caterpillar Thirty Sandpaper

c. 1925 - Even back in 1925 our marketing folks were coming up with clever ways to bring Caterpillar top-of-mind. This Caterpillar Thirty sandpaper says, "Smooth Your Roads with Caterpillar Tractors."

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Hose Paperweight

c. 1980 - The Mossville Hose plant accomplished a major “feat” in March 1980, when the plant produced its 100,000,000th foot of hose. This paperweight made out of a section of that hose commemorates the occasion.

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Employee Badges

c. 1942 – Before the dawn of the plastic ID badges that many of our current employees wear, metal pins identified Caterpillar employees. Many employees also wore color-coded pins that indicated their security clearance.

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Operation Deep Freeze

1955 - Subzero temperatures are no match for Caterpillar equipment! Caterpillar supplied 34 track-type tractors and 16 diesel electric sets to Operation Deep Freeze (ODF), a series of U.S. research missions to Antarctica that began in 1955. The last of these tractors was retired in 2014. This album contains news stories about ODF Commander Admiral George J. Dufek’s visit to Peoria.

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Pliny Holt Drawing

c. 1909 - Like uncle, like nephew. Pliny Holt, nephew of Holt Manufacturing Co. founder Benjamin Holt, sketched this plan for a 2-speed farm engine produced in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Holt had a factory prior to the formation of Caterpillar Tractor Co.

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Caterpillar Foundation Articles of Incorporation

c. 1952 - The Caterpillar Foundation is dedicated to transforming lives in the communities where we live and work around the world. We champion programs that support education, environment and basic human needs.

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Wood Carving of L.B. Neumiller

c. 1950 - Lights, Camera, Action! This eccentric wood carving features third Caterpillar chairman L. B. Neumiller filming Danny Diesel, a cartoon tractor who delivered internal messages to employees in the 1940s and 1950s.

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SEM919 Motor Grader

2015 - Caterpillar owns a complex portfolio of brands, including SEM, a product brand based in China. SEM manufactures wheel loaders, motor graders, track-type tractors, soil compactors and landfill compactors.

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Toy Motorgrader and Wheel Tractor Scraper

c. 1950 - When Caterpillar made the move from farm equipment to earthmoving equipment in the 1950s, toy manufacturer REBELL made these plastic toys to mark the occasion.

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Holt Gasoline-powered Tractor

1910 - Before the introduction of the diesel engine in 1931, gasoline powered the engines of all Holt Caterpillar tractors. At the time, gasoline sold for 14 to 16 cents per gallon, while diesel sold for 4 to 7 cents, making the diesel-powered machines cheaper to operate.

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Executive Dining Room China

c. 1946 - Interestingly, the executive dining room china used at the company’s old headquarters in East Peoria, Illinois, doesn't bear the actual Caterpillar Tractor Co. logo. Instead, the symbol on the china resembles the logos of some railroad companies, who purchased china for passenger trains.

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Manufacturing Tools

c. 1930 - Over Caterpillar’s 90 years of existence, we haven’t lost our dedication to the tools and processes we were founded upon. Many of the tools and processes dating back to the company's inception are still used today, such as calibration tools, time trials, lifting device cards and patterns.

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Home of C.L. Best

Dan Best II, grandson of C.L. Best, Caterpillar’s first and longest-serving chairman of the board, was overwhelmed with nostalgia and pride when he visited his grandfather’s historic house in Almeda County, California.

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Dealer Pens

c. 1930-1960 - Our partnerships with the “write” dealers and the strong relationships our dealers establish with customers have ensured our company’s long-term success. The pens were distributed to customers by Cat® dealers.

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Custom Hard Hats

c. 1985 – These hard hats were lovely gifts from Cat® dealers to Caterpillar employees and were likely handmade. On these tin hats, a floral design surrounds reliefs of Cat equipment.

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Holt Combine

c. 1890 - Both Holt and Best originally produced combine harvesters that were drawn by horses. Eventually, they developed steam tractors – and later gas tractors – to pull the combines instead.

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Color Change

1931 – “Yellow blood” hasn’t always been yellow. Until 1931, Caterpillar equipment was painted gray. The company made a colorful change to “highway yellow” by the end of the year. Later, “Cat yellow” would be introduced, which is the legally protected color we are now known for.

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ROAD BUILDING IN VENEZUELA


1967 - Cat® products building a road through the mountains outside San Cristobal, Venezuela.

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ONE GIANT STEP FOR CATERPILLAR


1967 - On July 20, 1969, the world collectively held its breath watching the crew of Apollo 11 successfully land on the moon. As billions tuned in to watch the historic events unfold over the eight-day mission, Caterpillar was more than just another viewer.

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PANAMA CANAL DREDGE


c. 1915 - Paraiso dredge scale model. This was one of three Bucyrus dredges to work on the Panama Canal. Caterpillar acquired Bucyrus in 2011.

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POWERING THE PAST & FUTURE


For over 90 years Solar© Turbines has been powering the future through sustainable, innovative energy solutions. Solar became a Caterpillar company in 1981.

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SAUDI ARABIA CUSTOMERS


1938 – Caterpillar RD7 Tractors at work in Saudi Arabia.

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CATERPILLAR HISTORY IN COLOR


2017 – See over 100 years of Caterpillar track-type tractor history transformed into color.

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DAM BUILDING IN INDIA


1964 – Cat products helped construct the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam in India.

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TRACTOR ACTOR WINS OSCAR


2017 - Caterpillar’s yellow iron has found itself in many movie roles throughout the years, from silent films to modern big-budget blockbusters. Read about a few of our favorites.

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MYSTERY OF THE RD TRACTORS


2017 - Read about the mystery of what's in a name.

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MIXED CHORUS SINGS HAPPY HOLIDAYS


1953 - Caterpillar Employees Mixed Chorus performing in front of the plant Christmas tree.

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ACROSS THE POND


1956 - Caterpillar executives breaking ground on a new facility in Desford, United Kingdom.

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CATERPILLAR SHOWROOM


1930-1945 - Before there was the Caterpillar Visitors Center, there was the Caterpillar Showroom. Among other things, the Showroom displayed the very first diesel tractor to come off the line in Peoria and was even featured in a Hollywood movie.

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MAKING FINE WINE


c. 1975 - Cat D4 track-type tractor working on a vineyard in France.

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PETERSON CAT SINCE 1936


c. 2000 - Belt buckle from Peterson Cat who is Northern California, Oregon and southwest Washington’s authorized Caterpillar dealer.

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IT IS BIGGER THAN ME MOM!


c. 1955 - Boy checking out a Caterpillar DW20 Wheel Tractor.

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Partnering with Our Dealers Back to 1925


1955 - Caterpillar Exposition note pad. Today, the Caterpillar Exposition is called the Dealer Summit.

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Home Front


1942 - Caterpillar employee displays a "bushing puller" for which he received the Army E Award for Design during World War II.

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Working in Antarctica


1959 - Cat D8 LGP Tractor bolt used on a machine affectionately named "Colleen" by workers on Project Deep Freeze in Antarctica.

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Selling Tractors in North Africa


1933 - Cat Tunisia dealer principle Paul Parrenin with the first Caterpillar diesel tractor sold in North Africa.

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Wine and Walnuts


c. 1950 - Caterpillar D2 Track-Type Tractors working in vineyards and nut farms in California.

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Holt Plate


c. 1905 - Lantern Slide of a Holt Manufacturing Company Steam Traction Engine and Combine threshing wheat in the Red River Valley, Minnesota.

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Caterpillar Technical Center


c. 1960 - Artists rendition of the Caterpillar Technical Center, Mossville, Illinois

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Dragging Logs

c. 1932 - Caterpillar's first diesel tractor, Diesel Sixty, Serial 1C1, dragging logs.

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A HISTORY OF FAILURE LED TO OUR LEGACY OF SUCCESS

Persistence and resilience served C.L. “Leo” Best well as he went from nearly bankrupt to become one of the greatest innovators of our time.

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Tug-O-War

c. 1936 - Caterpillar Diesel Forty track-type tractors in a tug of war with college students and working at the carnival.

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Sustainable Farming

c. 1950 - Sustainable farming with Caterpillar D2 Track-Type Tractors in California.

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Working in Holland

1931 - Caterpillar Sixty working in the Wieringermeerpolder - the first reclaimed part of the Zuider Zee Canal, Holland.

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Building the Best

1905 - Machines manufactured by the Best Manufacturing Company of San Leandro, California - one of Caterpillar's predecessors - were displayed at the Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon.

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Caterpillar Service School

1928 - Caterpillar Service School Print Advertisement. The school dates all the way back to the Holt Manufacturing Company, one of our predecessor companies.

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1925 Advertisement

1925 - Caterpillar Russia Grain Advertisement. Caterpillar sales to Russia date back to the Tsars.

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Lab Coat

1939 - This Caterpillar Employee Research Lab Coat was owned by former employee James McConkey who worked in Building W at the East Peoria Plant.

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Holt Brothers

c. 1890 - This patent model of a steam combine harvester was created by Holt Brothers, a forerunner to one of Caterpillar's predecessor companies, the Holt Manufacturing Company.

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Holt Brothers

c. 1890 - This patent model of a steam combine harvester was created by Holt Brothers, a forerunner to one of Caterpillar's predecessor companies, the Holt Manufacturing Company.

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Stockton Wheel Company

1883 - Our Early Innovation and Roots can be traced Back to the Horse

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Holt Advertisement

c. 1900 - Caterpillar predecessor Holt Cylinder Oil Advertisement for Steam Traction Engines.

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Vintage Shirt Decal

c. 1955- Caterpillar Track-Type Tractor shirt decal.

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Holt Caterpillar

1915 - Holt Caterpillar Logo. Caterpillar Worm Drawing, Panama-Pacific Exposition, 1915. Drafted in Stockton, California, for a brochure.

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Built for Water

c. 1945 - This unique looking track-type tractor was made to work in water for the U.S. Coast Guard.

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Wood Carving Model

2013 - This wood carved Cat D Series Track-Type Tractor was a gift from a customer to our Chairman.

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Fore!

1929 - Thelma Southard prepares to make a drive over a Caterpillar Tractor hazard. She would like to drive the Caterpillars away, for they are ruining her practice course.

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Tilling Soil in the Middle East

c. 1935 - Caterpillar Track-Type Tractors till soil on a farm in the Middle East.

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Water Canals in Africa

1930s - Caterpillar Diesel track-type tractors and elevated graders make canals to transport water across South Africa.

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Roads in Mexico

c. 1930s - Caterpillar RD6 and RD7 Track-Type Tractors work outside Mexico City to make way for new roads.

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Jess: Engineering a Legacy

c. 1904 - A Holt employee - possibly Jess - sits on the No. 77 that Jess designed the engine for. The No. 77 later became the first track-type tractor.

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D6 Track-Type Tractor Toy

c. 1960 - Caterpillar D6 track-type tractor toy. The D6 track-type tractor is still on our line today and its lineage can be traced all the way back to the Best 30.

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Sunday Morning League

c. 1937 - Caterpillar fielded many championship baseball teams in Peoria's Sunday Morning Baseball League, the oldest amateur Men's Baseball League in the US.

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Band in Showroom

c. 1930s - The Caterpillar Band plays music for employees and their families at the Caterpillar Showroom. Today, the spirit of the old Showroom is alive at the Caterpillar Visitors Center.

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Winning with Tracks

c. 1930s - Why are tracks so much better than wheels? We found an interesting video that shows exactly why one of our greatest innovations makes life so much easier. Watch as our Twenty, the first tractor ever built by Caterpillar, goes head-to-head against a custom-built Twenty…with wheels! Which tractor is harder to pull? Which one does more damage as it moves? Which tractor is better? You be the judge.

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Russell Graders Watch Fob

c. 1927 - Caterpillar’s first acquisition was in 1927 when it acquired Russell Graders, an earthmoving company. This watch fob sports the Russell Graders logo.

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Caterpillar Man Record

1980 - “I’m a Caterpillar Man.” Donated by Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman, this 45 record is of a song written about Caterpillar called "Caterpillar Man." The song was recorded in Pekin, Illinois, in 1970 by Carl Trent.

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Side-by-side D9H Track-type Tractors

1975 - Two is better than one. The concept for this side-by-side D9H tractor was born with the assistance of one of our dealers. Interestingly, the machines could be operated by one or two operators.

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Caterpillar Torreon Safety Pin

2005 - Since 2005, the Caterpillar facility in Torreon, Mexico, has recognized more than 9,000 employees for their commitment to safety. Caterpillar produces components and work tools for various loaders and track type tractors, as well as evacuation and forestry machines.

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Caterpillar in Australia

c. 1958 - This clip is part of a longer video called Caterpillar Abroad, produced around the late 1950s. Caterpillar’s plant in Melbourne, Australia, opened in 1956 and manufactured No. 12 motor graders and parts for D4 and D6 tractors.

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Bookends

c. 1925 - Besides holding up books in dealers’ offices, these bookends helped educate Holt and Best customers about the newly formed Caterpillar Tractor Co.

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Service Pins

c. 1944 - The service pins the company has given employees have taken on many shapes over the years, but Caterpillar employees' superior work ethic has remained unchanged. C.L. Best, the company's first chairman, was the first person to receive a service pin, and employee Charlie Pittman was the first person in company history to receive a pin for 65 years of service.

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Best 60 Train Set Model

c. 1980 - C.L. Best, Caterpillar’s first chairman, introduced the Best 60 tractor in 1919. The 60 provided the template by which most Caterpillar tractors would be fashioned. This tiny 60 tractor was part of a children’s train set.

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Turkmenistan Caterpillar Rug

c. 2000 - This rug is from Zeppelin Turkmenistan, the official Cat® dealer in Turkmenistan. The dealer is a part of the larger German company Zeppelin Baumaschinen GmbH.

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Built for It Cellphone and Case

2014 - This Cat® B15 Smartphone was put to the test in the 2014 “Gravity” #BuiltForIt Trials video. It was dropped into a pool of water and retrieved by a material handler and then run over by a multi terrain loader. And yes, it still works!

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Employee Hard Hat and Lunch Box

c. 1960 - This hard hat and lunch box used by an employee who worked at the Proving Grounds in East Peoria illustrate that Caterpillar has always been dedicated to employee safety and well-being.

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Oil Sands

c. 1967 - Cat® equipment, including our massive 797F mining truck, has been hard at work extracting oil from the Athabasca Oil Sands in Alberta, Canada, for decades. This gift to a Caterpillar vice president displays different types of sand from the oil sands.

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NASCAR/Cat Racing Trophy

1996 - Caterpillar sponsors the No. 31 car driven by Ryan Newman in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, and Cat® generators are used to power the TV broadcasts for all NASCAR races.

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William Naumann’s Apprentice Toolbox

c. 1930 - Bill Naumann, Caterpillar chairman from 1975-1977, started his Caterpillar career as a machinist’s apprentice in 1929. Hard work and the right tools propelled Naumann to the top.

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Holt Yard Stick

c. 1920 - As part of a concerted effort to claim the Caterpillar brand, the Holt Manufacturing Co. produced items such as this yardstick proclaiming, "There Is Only One 'Caterpillar' Tractor - Holt Builds It."

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HP Calculator

c. 1970s - Before the age of computers, pocket-sized calculators were considered cutting-edge technology. This Hewlett Packard calculator is believed to be one of the very first calculators purchased by the company in the 1970s.

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Elevated Sprocket - East Peoria Hat

1977 - The D10 Track-Type Tractor was the first modern tractor to use an elevated sprocket, which improved durability, operator comfort and ease of maintenance.

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Pedal Car

1950 - Youngsters could try their hands at operating a track-type tractor with this pedal car modeled after the D4 tractor. A blade, tracks and a padded seat made this kid-sized tractor seem like the real thing!

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Reopening Trade Doors with China

1975 – Trade doors reopened with the People’s Republic of China in 1972. Delmar R. Lammers, a Caterpillar vice president at the time, used this gold pen to sign the first contract between Caterpillar and the People's Republic of China.

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Lanny’s Last Wish

2015 - Before Lanny lost his battle with cancer, his last wish was to operate his prized Caterpillar Sixty that he restored one more time – and then send it home to Caterpillar. 

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FIFTY YEARS ON TRACKS


1954 - "Fifty Years on Tracks" is a marvelous time-worn book published by the Caterpillar Tractor Company. Written as a memento marking the first 50 years of the track-type tractor, the words tell a story of innovation.

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INNOVATION IN DREDGING


1971 – “Crawlcutter” underwater dredge with Cat® D9 track-type tractor tracks on a beach in California.

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TRAINS IN AFRICA


c. 1965 - Watch how Cat® engines powered locomotives in Africa.

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LEADERSHIP MOMENTS


1911 - Who says failure never led to success? Read about a leadership moment by our first Chairman – C.L. Best.

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MY FAVORITE MOUNTAIN


1970 - Caterpillar equipment working in the Swiss Alps.

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BARLOWORLD: CELEBRATING 90 YEARS


1927 - 90 years ago, Charles Barlow, negotiated the appointment of Thos. Barlow & Sons as the Cat® distributor for the Natal and the then Transvaal regions in South Africa. Since then, Barloworld Equipment has grown to become part of a multinational brand distribution company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and are the sole dealer for Cat® machines in southern Africa.

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50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CAT® D5


1967 – A new product doesn't just "happen." It's the result of the combined efforts of many Caterpillar people. The D5 Tractor—introduced in 1967 — is a perfect example of this truth.

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LAST MODEL SENT TO RUSSIA


1970 - Last Cat® D6C track-type tractor made in Japan and shipped to Russia.

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CELEBRATING WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE


2017 - Caterpillar is a proud sponsor of International Women's Day, and we celebrate the many contributions of women around the world. Learn the early story of how woman entered the workplace at Caterpillar.

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CONEXPO HISTORY


Since 1926, Caterpillar has exhibited its products at CONEXPO. Learn more about Caterpillar's early participation at the show.

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Holt Brothers


1880 - View the oldest artifact in our archives collection. Holt Brothers, one of our early predecessors, published this price list and catalog while operating in California.

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ROAD TRIP


c. 1960 - Cat diesel engines displayed as part of a mobile exhibit.

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XMAS PARTY


1924 - Holt Caterpillar Girls Club, Christmas party menu.

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LOOKING GOOD AT WORK


1928 - Caterpillar employee at work in San Leandro, California.

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HARVEST IN WASHINGTON


1938 - Film of a 36 Holt Caterpillar Combine working in Washington State. Courtesy of the Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University.

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PAYDAY


c. 1935 - Caterpillar employee pay booth. This was where our employees collected their paychecks at the former Caterpillar East Peoria Plant.

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EVEN CASEY JONES WOULD BE JEALOUS


1898 - Largest shipment of California made machinery on one train load - Holt Combine Harvesters.

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THE BEST PRODUCTS WORKING AROUND THE WORLD


1922 - Best 60 tractor working in Singapore.

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Our R&D Is In The Bag


c. 1960 - Bag used by the Caterpillar Research Department, Peoria, Illinois.

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A Star is Born


1927 - Thanks to our friends at the Peoria Historical Society we are featuring a photo of a Caterpillar Sixty Tractor outside the Palace Theater. The Sixty helped promote a silent movie called Man Power which featured a Holt Caterpillar tractor.

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Creating the Pattern for Caterpillar's Success


1911 - Holt East Peoria Plant pattern shop.

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Office Space


c. 1960 - Caterpillar employees work in the office space in East Peoria.

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Caterpillar Ten in New Zealand

1930 - First Caterpillar Ten Track-Type Tractor sold in New Zealand.

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Progress in Sydney

c. 1960 - a Caterpillar D9G Track-Type Tractor works to bring progress to Sydney, Australia.

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Industrial Design Model

c. 1975 - Caterpillar Off-Highway Industrial Design Model.

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Saving the Lettuce

c. 1950 - Caterpillar diesel track-type tractors farming lettuce in California.

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First Price List

1925 - The first Caterpillar price list indicates a standard Caterpillar Sixty track-type tractor in 1925 cost $5,500. Today, the machine would cost $75,000!

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Future Operators

c. 1940 - Do you have your license? Kids driving a Caterpillar Diesel Motor Grader.

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Pac Man and Cat

c. 1985 - Pac Man Fever Billboard, Peoria, Illinois.

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Dealer Car

1967 - Caterpillar Dealer Car, Vietnam.

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Pies in East Peoria

c. 1930 - Cafeteria employees make pies at the Caterpillar East Peoria Plant Cafeteria.

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Western Harvester Company

Employees from Caterpillar's first subsidiary called the Western Harvester Company, Stockton, California pose for a photo.

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King of Spain

1928 - King of Spain inspecting Caterpillar Sixty Track-Type Tractors and graders at the Islas del Guadalquivar. The King is in the center wearing the bowler hat.

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Concept Drawing

1964 - Caterpillar's Industrial Design group created a concept drawing of a Cat Off-Highway Truck.

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Snowball Fight

c. 1927 - C. L. Best, Caterpillar's first Chairman, and his son Dan are in the middle of a fierce snowball fight while on a family vacation outside of Yosemite. Who do you think won?

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Iron and Whiskey

Caterpillar Diesel Thirty-Five Tractor Track-Type Tractor equipped with a special bulldozer shunting grain and coal cars at the Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery in Peoria, Illinois, in March 1937.

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1930s Parts

c. 1935 - Caterpillar employees manufacture parts for the track-type tractor line in the 1930s.

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Hoover Dam

1935 - A Caterpillar Sixty Track-Type Tractor hauls huge sections of pipe to be used in the construction of the Hoover Dam.

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The Land Down Under

1955 - Caterpillar forms a new subsidiary – Caterpillar of Australia Pty. Ltd. This rare video was taken in Melbourne and features native wildlife as well as footage from inside the factory.

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Working in Washington

1940 - The Caterpillar D2 Track-Type Tractor propels this novel transportation device from the real power takeoff in Washington State.

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Avalanche

c. 1950 - Similar to the massive amount of snow produced by recent Winter Storm Jonas, this cartoon illustrates a Cat Track-Type Tractor working in an avalanche. This cartoon was featured in an issue of Cat Folks in the 1950s.

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Caterpillar Matches

c. 1975 - These Caterpillar matches were packaged in a container made to look like a filter. The outside of the container reads "Total Service Complet. Hewitt Caterpillar Pieces / Parts." Hewitt Cat is headquartered in Quebec.

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Ink Stamp

c. 1940 - Caterpillar D2 Track-Type Tractor ink stamp represents Caterpillar's smallest diesel tractor.

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Lincoln Park

1929 - Caterpillar Sixty with bulldozer blade assisting in the landscape work at Lincoln Park, Chicago.

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First Cut

1957 - First Cut from the first Track-Type Tractor to come off the line in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Butler Machinery Ball Cap

c. 1967 - Butler Machinery Company Ball Cap. Butler has been a Cat dealer since 1955.

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Part Number Punches

c. 1960 - Part Number Punches, in the form of letters and numbers used to stamp into metal the part number during the manufacturing process. This artifact came from the Mossville, Illinois, Campus.

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Railroad Key

c. 1950s – Adlake railroad key used in an EMD locomotive. All aboard …

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Wooden Box for Shipping Parts

c. 1925 - Today we pride ourselves in providing 24/7 parts availability to our dealers and customers. Our dedication to reliable service to our customers is as old as the company itself. The old Caterpillar logo is still remarkably intact on this 1920s box believed to have been used to ship parts to dealers.

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Pekin Lettes Jersey

c. 1950s - Dating back to 1936, Caterpillar sponsored what is now known as the world's longest-running women's fast pitch softball team, now known as the Pekin Lettes. This jersey was worn by team members in the 1950s.

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Sustainability as a Value

2014 - Sustainability was added to our worldwide code of conduct in 2014 and reflects our commitment to building a better world.

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Quality for the Decades

This Cat® D4 has an amazing story. For more than 50 years, the tractor was buried underground due to political unrest.

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Wood Block

c. 2000 - Wood blocks were used as flooring in our factories dating back to the times of Holt and Best. Wood flooring offered a soft landing for tools that were dropped. It was also easier and more cost effective to replace a single block of the floor if it became damaged. Wood blocks are still used in several Caterpillar facilities today.

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Caterpillar Sixty Watch Fob

c. 1925 - This watch fob features a Caterpillar Sixty, which evolved from the Best 60. Eventually, the Caterpillar Sixty became the Diesel Sixty. The modern equivalent is a D8 track-type tractor, which can be seen on display at the Caterpillar Visitors Center.

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No. 12 Diesel Motor Grader - Cast Iron

c. 1965 - The No. 12 Diesel Motor Grader turned 75 in 2013, becoming one of only five Cat® products to reach a 75th anniversary. This machine was originally introduced as the Caterpillar Diesel No. 12 Auto Patrol in 1938 and was renamed a motor grader a year later. Children played with this cast iron diesel motor grader toy in the 1960s.

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Aperture Card

c. 1960 - Before photocopy machines and computers, engineers used aperture cards to make copies of technical drawings. Aperture cards were a type of punched card used for archiving, information retrieval and making multiple inexpensive copies of a document.

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Power Parade Ribbons

Dozers and loaders and scrapers, oh my! Much of Caterpillar’s product line was on display during the Power Parades, choreographed shows of earthmoving equipment held for Caterpillar employees and their families. These ribbons commemorate Power Parade 1978, the third of five Power Parades.

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Ribbon from Eastern Sales Convention

1927 - This ribbon was worn by L.B. Neumiller to the Eastern Sales Convention in 1927. At the time, Neumiller was manager of the parts department, but he would end his Caterpillar career as Chairman of the Board.

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336E H Hybrid

More work, less fuel. The Cat® 336E H is the industry's first hydraulic hybrid excavator. This unique machine does more work with less fuel by using recovered energy from the swing to load trucks. These machines are produced in Akashi, Japan.

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A Gift from a King

It’s not every day you receive a gift from a King – especially when it’s a Cat® D8 Tractor.

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First Annual Report

1925 - The first common shares of Caterpillar stock were publicly traded on the San Francisco Stock Exchange on August 17, 1925. In December 1929, the New York Stock Exchange became the primary exchange listing for Caterpillar stock.

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Green Holt Stick Pin

One of the rarest artifacts in our historical collection is this green Holt stick pin, which was produced in 1912 shortly after the Holts trademarked the name Caterpillar.

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San Leandro Safety Hat

1978 - The plant in San Leandro, California, was operational for 99 years. The plant began operations in 1896 under Daniel Best and was open until 1985. This hat celebrates a new record at the plant: a year without disabling injuries.

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Jade Track-Type Tractor

2012 - The opening of the Caterpillar Visitors Center was a major addition to the Peoria Riverfront. The Peoria Riverfront Museum gave this beautiful gift to the Caterpillar Visitors Center to thank them for their partnership in developing the Riverfront.

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First Overseas Dealer

c. 1900-1930 - Parenin Cat®, Caterpillar’s first overseas dealer, introduced the first track-type tractor in Africa. They worked hard to overcome skepticism of the tractor in the agriculture community nearly a century ago. But they weren’t alone on this journey – back in the United States, dealers like Ziegler and Yancey were also pioneering the revolution of the tractor.

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Cat® Diesel Power Belt Buckle

2000 - Caterpillar began producing its first diesel engine in 1931, powering everything from tractors to massive cruise ships.

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Compact Product Line

c. 1996 - More people, more places. The introduction of our compact construction equipment allowed more customers to accomplish any job, large or small. Today, the product line has over 100 attachments, making the equipment extremely versatile.

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D7E

2008 - We’ve been the first to “make tracks” in many areas of machinery and construction equipment. The Cat® D7E was the first track-type tractor with a diesel-electric powertrain to be sold commercially.

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VIP Tour Program

c. 1977 - Caterpillar has conducted VIP tours for decades, reassuring existing customers and convincing potential customers that Caterpillar and our dealers provide the finest products and services in the world.

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Chairman’s Safety Award World Calendar

1959 - The Company’s oldest executive office recognition was created in 1959 as the L.B. Neumiller Safety Award. The Decatur plant received the first award and was recognized with this perpetual calendar. Today, the award is known as the Chairman’s Safety Award.

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Caterpillar Checker Board

c. 1925 – Images of tractors adorn the black and red game pieces for this checkers set, while the back of the game board introduces former Holt and Best customers to the new brand: Caterpillar Tractor Co.

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Dealers with Us since the Beginning

c. 1925 – A few of our dealers have been selling Cat® equipment since 1925, before the equipment sported the Caterpillar logo. Dealers Ziegler, Yancey and Parenin date back to Holt and Best, before the creation of Caterpillar Tractor Co.

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SUMMER VACATION WITH THE CAT® D10


1977 - Word was spreading among the citizens of Montana that the world’s largest track-type tractor was being tested in the western part of the state. Scores of people came to see it work.

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BEYOND THE NUMBERS WITH BRAD


2017 - Kevin Jarboe is on top of the world when he’s riding his 1952 D2 Caterpillar tractor. Caterpillar is not only Kevin’s career – it’s his passion, his hobby and a great escape from the challenges of everyday life.

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HELPING PEOPLE SUCCEED


1952 – The Caterpillar Foundation's mission is to alleviate poverty and place people on the path to prosperity. From 1952-2015, this machine provided the means to make the Foundation’s mission a reality.

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LEADER IN TECHNOLOGY


c. 2010 – Caterpillar has been a leader in the development of autonomous technology on the job site. This sign informed workers that autonomous Cat® dozers were at work.

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BUILDING THE ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY


1959 - Learn about how Cat® equipment helped build the "Eighth Sea" between the United States and Canada.

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STEAMROLLING THE COMPETITION


c. 1968 - Concept model of a Cat® paving compactor created by Industrial Design.

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DIESEL INNOVATION


1940 – “Questions about Caterpillar Diesel Power” – Promotional hand fan featuring our smallest made diesel tractor – The D2.

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BIG TRUCKS IN CHILE


2013 – This off-highway truck paperweight was a gift from one of our mining customers in Chile.

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TIE TO OUR PAST


1967 – Caterpillar promotional necktie with our former logo.

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FIRST PRIZE IN ARGENTINA


1912 - Holt Caterpillar wins First Prize at a tractor competition open to the world by the Argentine Government.

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CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH


Based in Peoria, Illinois, Company K was comprised of African Americans who worked in local businesses, schools and even factories and was part of the 8th Infantry Regiment of the Illinois National Guard. The photos featured in this video are a sampling of a rare collection of images owned by the Peoria Historical Society.

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FINAL FRONTIER


c. 1980 - Caterpillar industrial design drawing of a futuristic mining product working in space.

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GLOBAL LEADER


1930 - Caterpillar tractor shipment arrives in China.

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IT PLAYS IN PEORIA


The Caterpillar Employees Mixed Chorus is celebrating 75 years of theatrical excellence in Peoria - Congratulations!

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Bloomer Girls


1885 - Over 130 years ago, a group of young woman set out to prove that women could be just as productive as their male counterparts. They also may have been the first female operators of what would eventually become a Caterpillar machine.

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REMEMBERING GLEN BARTON


2016 - Remembering former Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Glen Barton. See his leadership story.

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SOMEBODY NEED A LIFT?


1967 - Towmotor was a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar that manufactured lift trucks. This is a promotional candy dish with the old style Caterpillar logo.

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Safety Is Our No.1 Business


c. 1960 - Caterpillar Australia Plant celebrates a safety milestone.

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Making the Tools for Success


1925 - Caterpillar Sixty Tractor Grease Pump painted in its original gray.

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Caterpillar Service School


c. 1916 – View of Caterpillar School class receiving instruction on machine field repair

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Colleen Comes Back to Life

2015 - "Colleen", a Cat D8 LGP Track-Type Tractor, was restored by Altorfer, the Cat Dealer in Peoria, Illinois.

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The Redwood Log

A redwood log from California has greeted visitors to the Peoria area since the 1930s.

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Holt in Japan

1925 - This Holt Caterpillar 2-Ton machine was sold to the Department of Agriculture & Forestry in Tokyo, Japan.

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Tractor Snow Sculpture

c. 1985 - Caterpillar D2 Track-Type Tractor Snow Sculpture, Peoria, Illinois.

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Tractor in Martinique

1931 - First Caterpillar Thirty Track-Type Tractor Sold in Martinique.

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Projects in Florida

c. 1935 - Caterpillar diesel engines and Diesel track-type tractors at work in Florida.

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Diesel Simplicity

1936 - By 1936, Caterpillar produced over half of all diesel engines in the world. See them at work.

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The Auto Patrol

c. 1931 - Caterpillar Auto Patrols (modern day motor graders) and Caterpillar track-type tractors at work in 1931.

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Wooden Plaque

c. 1969 - This wooden "Caterpillar Plants of Illinois" plaque was made at the pattern shop at the Mapleton Foundry.

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Hauling a Cat D10

c. 1990 - Cat D10 being hauled in the bucket of a Cat Off-Highway Truck.

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Lucky Number Three

Gus poses for a photo with his family in 1954.

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Holt 120

c. 1915 - The Holt 120 was the largest Holt manufactured gasoline track-type tractor.

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Through the Lens

The Man Who Left the Farm to Build Tractors. Some pictures could tell the story of Byron Williford’s life. He was an avid photographer, always tinkering with his cameras. That was second nature for an engineer.

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Building JJ

1945 - This brick comes from Caterpillar Building JJ, a 44,000 square foot facility that - until 1955 - was used for jigs and fixtures used in the manufacture of Cat equipment.

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1931: The Year of Innovation

Caterpillar Diesel Sixty serial No. 1C3 on display in the Caterpillar Showroom at Building HH in East Peoria.

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Earthmoving Calculator

c. 1945 - This Caterpillar Earthmoving Calculator was used for estimating production and costs.

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Street Car

1946 - Caterpillar Diesel D7 tractor with loading attachment loading debris for a project pulling up street car rails on Market Street in San Francisco, California. The 660 volt trolley wires overhead mean extra care must be taken in handling rails.

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East Peoria Foundry

c. 1935 - Caterpillar employees making our famous yellow iron in the old East Peoria Foundry.

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Snow Plowing

1932 - Little boy, who had not seen Mother Earth due to six long months, was so surprised at this Caterpillar Fifty and snow plow that he hopped out of bed and, barefooted in the snow, watched it plow through a 10-foot drift.

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Almond Blossoms

1928 - Marian Garretson, Queen of U. C. "Sirkus" at Berkeley, sits on a Caterpillar Twenty track-type tractor.

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Bear Photo

1932 - Don’t feed the bears? This photo, taken near Porterville, California, seems to suggest otherwise. Don’t try this at home!

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Industrial Design Painting

1967 - The underwater construction equipment seen in this concept art never became a reality, but the painting became one of the most unique items in Corporate Archives.

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Caterpillar Diesels Basketball

1952 - This game ball was used in the championship game by the Caterpillar team that won gold in the 1952 Olympics. The one-of-a-kind ball was signed by the team and coaches.

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Dealer Serviceman Toolkit

c. 1950 - Our dealers provide expert service and knowledgeable advice. Dealer serviceman used toolboxes like this one to store their tools used on job sites and in facilities.

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A Scottish Chairman & CEO

In 1966, Caterpillar elected its first Chairman who had been born outside of the United States. William Blackie was born in Glasglow, Scotland, in 1906 and came to the United States in 1930. He first joined Caterpillar in 1944 as a controller.

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Winning in Russia: Then and Now

Caterpillar’s rich 102-year relationship with Russia dates back to the St. Petersburg’s Auto Show in May 1913. The relationship has continued to thrive despite many economic and political challenges due to our great rapport with our customers, dealers and employees in Russia.

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Hollywood Connection: Earthworm Tractors

c. 1935 - Cat® equipment has certainly had its time in the spotlight, appearing in movies including "Aliens," "Skyfall" and "Earthworm Tractors." “Earthworm Tractors," a comedy about a bumbling tractor salesmen, used real Cat tractors as props … and covered the Caterpillar logo with this Earthworm logo prop.

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Cat® Machines Paved the Way in Brazil

It could be said that Cat® products paved the way – literally and figuratively – to make societal history in 1950s Brazil. Even today, Brazilians associate the development of the country’s main infrastructure with Cat equipment – and one visionary leader.

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50 Years on TracksBook

c. 1954 - Former director of Public Affairs Byron DeHaan oversaw the publication of this book. It was the first comprehensive book on Caterpillar history.

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Cat TV Group

1925 - The Cat TV group produced commercials and other media for Caterpillar. This group morphed into today’s Cat Creative Services Department. This reel contains some footage of the Caterpillar basketball team during the 1958 AAU tournament and is part of a large historical collection of films and videos produced by the group.

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Caterpillar Fireman’s Badge

c. 1948 – Members of the original fire brigades wore badges like this one. Over the years, the security team at East Peoria did more than just fight fires: they trained security personnel at other Caterpillar facilities and lent a hand in the community, ensuring safety and security for all.

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Tool Tags

c. 1935 - Tool check tags like this one are still used today. The tags allow us to keep track of our equipment in our manufacturing facilities.

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EMD China from Dining Car

c. 1950 - This piece of china commemorates similar pieces used in dining cars pulled by an Electro-Motive Diesel locomotive engines. Electro-Motive is a Caterpillar brand and the only diesel engine manufacturer of its size to have produced more than 70,000 engines.

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Caterpillar Farm Tractors Sign

c. 1931 - Until the 1940s, farm tractors were our main product. This sign from Montana was likely used by a dealer.

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Orange Wind-up Track-type Tractor Toy

c. 1950 - Yellow, not orange! Children who played with this wind-up tractor toy in the 1950s may have been a little confused with its color. The toy features the Caterpillar brand but was not highway yellow as our machines were in the '50s.

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Preserving the Legacy

“Many of them do the work just as easily now as they did the day they came off the factory floor,” says Bruce Vinkler, president of the Antique Caterpillar Machinery Owners Club (ACMOC), referring to the longevity of Cat® equipment. ACMOC aims to educate the public about the role that Caterpillar, Holt and Best machines played in building the modern world.

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Burford-Toothaker Thermometer

c. 1950 - Hot or cold, rain or shine, you can count on Cat® equipment to get the job done. An Alabama dealer used this thermometer to get this message across to customers and to promote sales and service.

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Glass Plate Negatives

c. 1900-1930 - Thin glass plates serve as windows into the past for current Caterpillar employees and customers. Photographs of Holt, Best and Caterpillar equipment are preserved on these plates, which served as a capture medium before the age of film and digital photography.

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Drafting Table

c. 1910 - Today, Caterpillar engineers use the latest technology and cutting-edge equipment, but back in the days of Holt Manufacturing Co., engineers used drafting tables to modify technical drawings.

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Challenger Sprinkler

c. 1988 - Our Challenger tractor worked more than just the fields. This Challenger tractor sprinkler – a promotional item for a new line of agricultural tractors – could crawl across a lawn when hooked up to a hose. In 2002, the Challenger brand was purchased by AGCO.

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Cracker Jack Toy

1932 - When folks went “out to the ball game” in 1932, they had the chance to collect tiny tin toy Caterpillar tractor prizes that were distributed in boxes of Cracker Jack.

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Zeppelin Blimp

c. 2012 - This Caterpillar Zeppelin model is a nod to our dealer's interesting past: Zeppelin, a Cat® dealer in Germany, used to make air ships, commonly referred to as "blimps."

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C.L. Best Steam Tractor Drawing

c. 1895 – C.L. Best designed this steam tractor engine in 1895. Best would later become the first chairman of Caterpillar Tractor Co.

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License Plate Cover

c. 1942 – Metal bumper emblems were visible on many cars in Peoria during the 1940s. Few of these emblems exist today since many were melted down to support the war effort.

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Danny Diesel Mascot

c. 1950 - Danny Diesel delivered internal messages to Caterpillar employees in the 1940s and 1950s. The mascot was retired when it no longer represented Caterpillar's growing product diversity.

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