Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

How many game-changing, world-building projects has Caterpillar contributed to in the past 90+ years? Take a glimpse at our history – you’ll see a lot.  

From building cities, to powering space missions to developing skills programs, Caterpillar, our dealers and customers have been there. And, we’ve got some amazing historical pictures that tell stories better than words. 

We’ve rounded up some of the year’s best history stories showcasing our people and products. Take a few minutes to look back on a few of our favorite moments!  

Caterpillar’s origin story started on the day the wheels came off – Thanksgiving Day 1904. Caterpillar’s origin story started on the day the wheels came off – Thanksgiving Day 1904.

From Wheels to Tracks: The Machine That Changed Everything

The story behind the original track-type tractor.

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Cat® dealer Cousins delivering parts by plane in 1928. Cat® dealer Cousins delivering parts by plane in 1928.

Buy the Iron, Get the Company

Check out how the old Caterpillar saying, “Buy the iron, get the company,” reflects our commitment to customers.

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 “100 Years of Metallurgy” celebration.  “100 Years of Metallurgy” celebration.

Celebrating 100 Years of Metallurgy

Paint makes our iron yellow, but it’s the Advanced Materials Technology team who ensures the quality and reliability Caterpillar customers expect.

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Cat® 950E wheel loader on display at the 1989 show – one of 47 products shown that year. Cat® 950E wheel loader on display at the 1989 show – one of 47 products shown that year.

65 Years of Caterpillar at bauma Munich

Since its inception in 1954, bauma Munich has grown to become the world’s largest construction trade fair, and Caterpillar has been there from the beginning.

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Caterpillar Diesel Sixty 1C12, 1932 Caterpillar Diesel Sixty 1C12, 1932

Legend: 100 Years of the Caterpillar Sixty

Caterpillar celebrated the 100-year anniversary of our first track-type tractor.

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 High drive track-type vehicle patent, 1974  High drive track-type vehicle patent, 1974

Inspiration Through Patents

With over 10,000 patents dating back to 1871, employees of Caterpillar and its predecessors have a long history of thinking outside the box. Learn about  unique, odd and significant inventions from the past 147 years.

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1930 – Caterpillar officially dropped the wavy logo/symbol printed in text, although the wavy logo remained in cast parts for a few years. 1930 – Caterpillar officially dropped the wavy logo/symbol printed in text, although the wavy logo remained in cast parts for a few years.

The Evolving Look of Cat® Machines

From a red wavy Caterpillar logo on gray paint to our current Cat® triangle logo on yellow paint, the look of our brand has evolved significantly over the last 90 years.

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Piny Holt operating No. 77 in 1905 Piny Holt operating No. 77 in 1905

Story of the Caterpillar Name

How did we get our name? Was it from an insect? Well...kind of. Read how a company photographer reacted to seeing the first commercially-successful track-type tractor in 1905. He exclaimed that it moved like a “big caterpillar.”

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A lot happens in a year. Check out our 2019 In Case You Missed It series to view highlights.

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