Robert G. LeTourneau: Dean of Earthmoving

In an earlier posting (Feb. 8, 2012), I addressed the importance of Benjamin Holt in the history of earthmoving equipment. Another giant of the industry, Robert G. LeTourneau, also had roots in San Joaquin County. He doesn't have a prominent street in Stockton named for him and he is lesser-known. But he was no less important.

. . . → Read More: Robert G. LeTourneau: Dean of Earthmoving

Putting the Pieces Together

Remember the Museum's 1919 Holt 75 tractor, the one being restored? This blog has discussed it a number of times over the past year or so. Well, the work goes on.

Too big for your Honda: Jerry and Mike with the Museum’s Holt 75 engine.

Visit the Museum on any given Tuesday and you'll find the shop . . . → Read More: Putting the Pieces Together

Zerk Fittings and Grease Cups

What would we do without zerk fittings?

The zerk fitting is not exactly a household item. In fact, I'm willing to wager that most people don't know anything about it. When I first mentioned it to my wife, she shot me her "you've-got-to-be-kidding" look. As near as I can tell, she thought of it as an imaginary . . . → Read More: Zerk Fittings and Grease Cups

A Tractor for Kids

Most children I know are fascinated with heavy machinery. I think they imagine the machines giving them vast amounts of power far beyond the ability of their tiny bodies. Even my daughter, who was a stuffed-animals kind of kid, had a special toy truck of her own. I can still hear her humming to herself as . . . → Read More: A Tractor for Kids

Benjamin Holt and the Caterpillar Tractor

I find it amazing that San Joaquin County was for fifty years or so the capital of earthmoving equipment. The County‚Äôs industrial, transportation, and financial infrastructures came into existence shortly after the Gold Rush, during the dry-farmed grain era. But it was the reclamation of rich peat soils of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the switch . . . → Read More: Benjamin Holt and the Caterpillar Tractor

The Andrew C. Kern Collection

The Caterpillar Tractor Company underwent several major changes throughout the 1930s to adapt to the economic conditions of the Great Depression. After the stock market crash of 1929, the company managed to survive by exporting tractors to the Soviet Union. In the mid-1930s, the market for tractors in the United States improved due to the growing . . . → Read More: The Andrew C. Kern Collection