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Clessie Lyle Cummins was born two days after Christmas in Henry County, Indiana some forty miles east of Indianapolis. Although his formal education ended with the eighth grade, his inventive genius generated thirty-three U.S. patents over fifty-six years. He founded and was president for nineteen years of the diesel engine company that bears his name – the Cummins Engine Company of Columbus, Indiana. Salesman, entrepreneur and sportsman, he set world speed and endurance records in race cars and trucks. Living his “retirement” years in California, Cummins continued to design and develop automotive engines, fuel injection systems, a hydraulic brake system, and much more, right up until his peaceful passing in his sleep, August 17, 1968.
Stephen D. Bechtel Sr.http: //www.bechtel.com/BAC-Stephen-D-Bechtel-Sr.html Raised in construction camps, he spent his teenage summers working with construction gangs. After graduating from high school, he shipped out to serve 19 months in World War I, burning up the French countryside as a motorcycle dispatch rider with the 20th Engineers. On his return, he resumed his education, studying engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. But he dropped out after his junior year to join the business. A year later, at the age of 23, in September 1923, he married his college sweetheart, Laura Adeline Peart. They moved in across the hall from Mom and Dad Bechtel in an apartment building in Oakland, California. On May 10, 1925, Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. was born, and not long after that Laura gave birth to a daughter, Barbara. By the time Steve Sr. reached his late 20s, he was in effect the CEO of Bechtel-Kaiser’s joint operations, and was eagerly pressing Dad and Henry Kaiser to get into the pipeline business. An early and ardent advocate of company expansion, Steve wanted W. A. Bechtel to pursue a more diverse workload, and to reach out geographically to broaden what was essentially a regional concern. When Dad Bechtel died unexpectedly in 1933, in the middle of the Hoover Dam project, there was little doubt who would take his place. Steve Bechtel, then 33, was already on the executive committee of the Six Companies consortium building the dam, in charge of all administration, purchasing, and transportation. “I was temperamentally more suited to take on the lead”, said Steve. “Warren, Kenny, and I had several talks, and Warren just didn’t want to work like we wanted to work”. A moderate man, Steve went to bed early, politely excusing himself from most social functions around 10 o’clock. By 7: 30 A.M., he was usually at his desk at 155 Sansome Street—that is, when he was in town. He and Laura spent six months a year visiting Bechtel projects around the world. Steve was a hands-on manager, yet he ran a loose, informal organization that suited his relaxed style. Until Simpson came on board in 1942, Steve received all the financial advice he needed from Bechtel’s attorney, Robert Bridges, and an accountant named George Walling. Steve’s sense of his own role was crystal clear: He would provide long-range leadership and direction and let the circle of strong lieutenants he’d gathered worry about day-to-day concerns.
Benjamin Holt (1849–1920) http: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Holt The youngest of four brothers Benjamin Holt was born in Concord, New Hampshire. His older brothers moved to San Francisco in 1864 to form a timber company and he followed in 1883 but went to Stockton, California where he formed the Stockton Wheel Co.Sinking into the mud was a common problem on farmland surrounding Stockton. Holt patented the caterpillar track on December 7 1907, having first invented it on November 24 1904. He founded The Holt Manufacturing Company. After Holt’s death in December 1920 the Holt Manufacturing Company merged with C.L. Best Tractor Co. of San Leandro, California, to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co.
R. G. LeTourneauLe
Tourneau began his career in obscurity in Stockton, California, where his first job was transporting earth to level out farmland. His frustrations with moving dirt drove him to find a better, more efficient way. In 1922 he constructed the first all-welded scraper that was lighter, stronger and less expensive than any other machines. LeTourneau became the greatest obstacle-mover in history, building huge earth-moving machines. During World War II he produced 70% of all the army’s earth-moving machinery. As the father of the modern earthmoving industry, he was responsible for 299 inventions. These inventions included the bulldozer, scrapers of all sorts, dredgers, portable cranes, rollers, dump wagons, bridge spans, logging equipment, mobile sea platforms for oil exploration, the electric wheel and many others. He introduced into the earthmoving and material handling industry the rubber tire, which today is almost universally accepted.
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