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Bates Manufacturing Co.

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Companies > Manufacturers

Albert J. Bates and his brother, William O. Bates, “founded the Bates Machine Co. in Joliet...in 1884 he and his brother founded the Bates Manufacturing Co.[1] The company was incorporated in 1888. They were produced barbed wire, diamond mining machinery, and tractors.[2]

“Albert Bates started out by building machinery for wire fencing, but soon became interested in tractors. Around 1915 he designed his first tractor, the "Bates Steel Mule", which was subsequently manufactured by the Joliet Oil Tractor Company of Illinois. Around the same time, another company called the Bates Tractor Co. of Lansing, Michigan were (sic) also producing tractors. In 1919, the two companies merged to form the Bates Machine and Tractor Co. of Joliet, Illinois. A range of half-track tractors were produced, with normal steel tractor wheels at the front and crawler tracks on the rear. Eventually though, competition forced the company to concentrate on purely tracked models, which they produced well into the 1930s.”[3]

Joliet Oil Tractor introduced the 13-30 Bates Steel Mule in 1915.

The Foote Brothers Machine & Gearing Company acquired Bates Machine & Tractor in 1929. The company “returned to Bates in 1935” and was shut down in 1937.[4]

Undated sales literature in the HCEA Archives, published under the name of the Bates Manufacturing Company, Joliet, Illinois, discusses the 40 full crawler tractors and cites the Bates factory’s continuous operation for over 44 years.[5]

[edit] References

  1. Magosky, P. Seth. Historic Impressions: The History and Architecture of Joliet Homes. Trafford Publishing: 2005.
  2. Magosky, P. Seth. Historic Impressions: The History and Architecture of Joliet Homes. Trafford Publishing: 2005.
  3. Bates. Steel-wheels.net [December 18, 2009].
  4. Robinson, Richard H. Crawler Tractor Scrapbook Part Three. CLNZ: 1999.
  5. Search Results for "Bates Manufacturing Company". Historic Construction Equipment Association [December 18, 2009].

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