Yellow Steel

Yellow Steel : The Story of the Earthmoving Equipment Industry

4.16 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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In "Yellow Steel", the first overarching history of the earthmoving equipment industry, William Haycraft examines the tremendous increase in the scope of mining and construction projects, from the Suez Canal through the interstate highway system, made possible by innovations in earthmoving machinery. Led by Cyrus McCormick's invention in 1831 of a practical mechanical reaper, many of the builders of today's massive earthmoving machines began as makers of reapers, plows, threshers, and combines. Haycraft traces the efforts of manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Allis-Chalmers, International Harvester, J. I. Case, Deere, and Massey-Ferguson to diversify from farm equipment to specialized earthmoving equipment and the important contributions of LeTourneau, Euclid, and others in meeting the needs of the construction and mining industries. He 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 and the rise of Japanese competitors in the early 1980s. 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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 488 pages
  • 160 x 237.5 x 34.5mm | 762.05g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252024974
  • 9780252024979

Review quote

"The best book yet on this important industry." -- Bruce E. Seely, Technology and Culture "Written in a straightforward style, this book is intended for engineers as well as for students of business history." - Civil Engineering "A vivid, photo-rich account of the development of the earthmoving equipment industry from its beginnings in mechanized agriculture to the mid-1990s... American in perspective yet international in scope, Yellow Steel is an invaluable document for those who are interested in modern industry and infrastructure." -- Michael R. Fein, Business History Review "[Haycraft] presents a comprehensive, thoroughly researched and well-written history of the manufacturers of earthmoving equipment from 1831 to 1995... Haycraft has filled a void in the construction equipment publishing field... For those who want to explore the rich history behind the equipment ... Yellow Steel is an invaluable resource." - Thomas Berry, Historical Construction Equipment Association "Anyone who wonders at the immensity of earthmoving equipment and wants to understand the long history of that industry should read Yellow Steel. -- Tomas Nonnenmacher, Journal of Economic History "Haycraft marshals a tremendous amount of information and ably presents the complexities of this industry's fascinating history. He has produced a valuable historical survey that will serve as a good reference work for historians as well as satisfy the curiosity of the general reader." -- Daniel A. Clark, Journal of Illinois History ADVANCE PRAISE "This is a cogent commercial and technical history of the machines humans have devised to reshape the earth. Clearly written, straightforward, and devoid of bombast and corporate chauvinism, Yellow Steel is a readable and useful book for casual historians as well as those with strong ties to the industry."- Craig Canine, author of Dream Reaper "A significant addition to the history of technology. Haycraft's experience within the industry and his sense of practical macro-economics lend a very real measure of authority to his observations." - Robert C. Williams, History Department, Clarendon Collegeshow more

Rating details

6 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2)
4 50% (3)
3 17% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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