ERIC Number: ED249541
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
A History of the Caterpillar Tractor Company's Use of Motion Pictures.
Veeder, Gerry A.
Film historians have tended to overlook the industrial film even though it has been widely used as a sales tool since early in this century. The Caterpillar Tractor Company was one of the first to adopt this medium as a means of demonstrating what its machines could do in a variety of situations. While other types of films have been made by Caterpillar over the years, including safety, public interest, and training films, all have become part of the firm's marketing effort. Most of these films, comprising a library of almost 400 titles, still exist in the company's archives. Together they document the use of film by a large corporation. Filmmaking at Caterpillar can be divided into four periods. Little footage from the early years up to 1928 has survived, but there is enough to show that these films dealt primarily with equipment demonstration. Over 100 films were produced between 1929 and 1941; some introduced new equipment and its applications while others either presented ideas on how to do a job or developed the corporate image. Few films were made during World War II, but two that were produced in 1942 are of historic interest. They document the building of the AlCan Highway and the Can-Al pipeline. Some 260 films have been produced since the war, mostly concept films, equipment demonstrations, and industrial travelogues. Some of the best are safety related and employ professional stunt men in well-staged accidents in an attempt to instruct machine operators in correct operating techniques. (RBW)
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Caterpillar Tractor Company; Corporate History; Film History