Pictures of Equipment
Pictures of equipment are very common. This shouldn’t be a surprise at all, since Caterpillar machines can be found everywhere around the world. And as heavy machinery goes, Caterpillars rank among the most innovative, iconic, and photogenic ever built
Caterpillar and photography practically go hand-in-glove, especially since the company started just as photography was coming into its own as a medium. Coincidentally, both have evolved with the times. By World War I, Caterpillar’s forerunner, Holt, was building heavy tractors used by the French and British armies for transporting supplies in bulk across treacherous battlefield terrain. At the same time, pictures were being sent to newspapers from battlefields the world over. A public eager for information and images of the war couldn’t help but see photos of these heavy machines in action.
Pictures of equipment are very common. This shouldn’t be a surprise at all, since Caterpillar machines can be found everywhere around the world. And as heavy machinery goes, Caterpillars rank among the most innovative, iconic, and photogenic ever built.
By the 1920’s, Holt was now Caterpillar, and the company found itself with a surplus of heavy, military-grade tractors that weren’t well suited to the farms that had once been the company’s bread and butter. The solution was as ingenious as it was simple: as America embarked on a wave of construction, Caterpillar equipment would be at the heart of it. The 20’s saw a boom in construction, and boom times for Caterpillar machinery. Breathtaking photos of the building of then-novel skyscrapers in cities around the world were fair game for photographers, and as usual, Caterpillars were there, on the sites and in the images.
Pictures of Caterpillar heavy equipment and machinery would also have been widely seen and photographed in the 1930’s. The work of the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps), NRA, and other initiatives designed to lift the United States out of the Great Depression, leaned heavily on shovel-ready projects. Anxious to lift the spirits of a troubled nation, the WPA sent photographers and film crews to document the work on highways, dams, disaster recovery, and a host of building projects. As the cameras caught workers toiling, they often happened to photograph the Caterpillars working alongside them.
Images of Caterpillar machines would come from other milestones as well. Photos of Cat equipment reminded us of our triumphs, helping the Seabees carve airstrips out of forbidding jungle in World War II, assisting in the reconstruction of Europe, paving the way for the postwar housing and highway boom, and even being present for the moon landings. Caterpillar also represented hope amid tragedy, as the images of the 9/11 cleanup eventually became a snapshot of recovery and reconstruction.
Caterpillars would also be photographed during the construction of some of the modern world’s great wonders, as well as projects closer to home. Cat may be not only the world’s most-used brand of heavy machinery, laying the foundation for the twenty-first century; it may also be the most photographed. Whether your project is ready for its close-up, or just shovel-ready, CAT has proven, time and again, that they’ve got what it takes. And they have the photos to prove it.