Diggin’ Into History: Caterpillar and the Construction of the LA Aqueduct

February 8, 2023

Winding 233 miles across the Mojave Desert and the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains in southern California, the Los Angeles Aqueduct is perhaps the most famous water conveyance system in the world. The project – which started in 1908 – received worldwide attention and would later serve as a set location in some of Hollywood’s biggest films (Greased Lightnin’, anyone?). 

The harsh desert conditions presented a construction challenge: traditional tractors with wheels were no match for the rocky landscape. Enter Holt Caterpillar tractors. In this episode of Diggin' Into History, Corporate Archives Manager Lee Fosburgh and host Rusty Dunn recount how this iconic infrastructure project changed everything for a young company that couldn’t afford to fail.    

Caterpillar and the Construction of the LA Aqueduct
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