Monumental Moment in Caterpillar History: From Gas to Diesel Power

May 13, 2021

It’s 1930, about a year into the Great Depression – a period of economic failure that started with the U.S. stock market collapse in 1929. However, a young company – Caterpillar Inc. – was holding its own, financially. But pressure was building inside the company around efforts to produce a diesel engine. After all, Caterpillar was doing just fine with its gas-powered tractors. It was costing a lot of money to develop a diesel-powered engine. Corporate Archivist Lee Fosburgh and Diggin’ Into History host Rusty Dunn talk about what happened next, and how Caterpillar co-founder C.L. Best – who never backed away from a challenge – would become the diesel engine’s biggest cheerleader despite monumental adversity. Watch Part 2 of this incredible origin story for one of the company’s greatest inventions.

Diesel Engine History