Business, Earthmoving News

Bobcat enters Hall of Fame

An exhibit at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum in Virginia has put on a display taking visitors through Bobcat’s company history

Brothers Cyril and Louis Keller invented the world’s first compact loader in the late 1950s (later naming it the Bobcat skid-steer loader). They have been posthumously selected as the 2023 inductees for the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) in Alexandria, Virginia.

Accompanying this induction is an installation of an exhibit looking at Bobcat’s history and features one of the brothers’ original three-wheel loaders.

Prior to the Kellers’ invention, construction machines came in only one size: large. If a smaller job needed to get done, it was by hand.

Since the original skid-steer loader was produced, Bobcat has gone on to create both the world’s smallest loader, called the M371 “Mini Bob”, in 1971 and the world’s largest loader, called the Bobcat 980, in 1987 it says.

“As Bobcat celebrates 65 years since the invention of the machine that created the compact equipment industry, we are thrilled to uplift our history to museum attendees of all ages,”  Doosan Bobcat North America president Mike Ballweber.

“As a company, we continue to grow and evolve, but we stay connected to our roots through our spirit of innovation sparked by the Keller brothers.”

The original three-wheeler loader on display is one of the first 10 original compact loaders designed and built by the Keller brothers and has been offered to the NIHF on loan from the Keller family.

Son of the late Louis Keller, Joe Keller, transported the family heirloom over 2, 000km from North Dakota to Virginia for it to be displayed. Before its final destination at the NIHF, the loader went on a tour through Bobcat dealerships to be showcased to staff, customers, and fans alike.

The special Bobcat exhibit will be on display until April 2024.

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