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Yellow Steel The Story of the Earthmoving Equipment Industry

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This is the first comprehensive history of the earthmoving equipment industry. The author examines the tremendous increase in the scope of the mining and construction projects, from the Suez Canal trough the interstate highway system, made possible by innovations in the earthmoving machinery.

Cyrus McCormick's invention in 1831 of a practical mechanical reaper led to a revolution in farm machinery manufacturing, and many of the builders of today's massive earthmoving machines began as makers of reapers, ploughs, threshers, and combines, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Yellow Steel traces the efforts of manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Allis-Chalmers, International Harvester, J.I. Case, and Massey-Ferguson to diversify from farm equipment to specialised earthmoving equipment and the important contributions of LeTourneau, Euclid, and others in meeting the needs of the construction and mining industries.

The author shows how postwar economic and political events, especially the creation of the interstate highway system, spurred the development of more powerful and more agile machines. He also relates the precipitous fall of several major American earthmoving machine companies in the early 1980s, especially in the manufacture of hydraulic excavators.

Extensively illustrated and packed with detailed information on both manufacturers and machines. Yellow Steel knits together the diverse stories of the many companies that created the earthmoving equipment industry, how they began, expanded, retooled, merged, succeeded, and sometimes failed. Their history, a step-by-step linking of need and invention, provides the foundation for virtually all modern transportation, construction, commerce, and industry.

The author worked for many years in international marketing for Caterpillar Inc.

Code No. 009217, 465 pages, ISBN 0252071042, $35.00

This item is listed under the following subjects:

Earthmoving & Construction  
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