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Keller Manufacturing

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Keller Manufacturing was a small general repair and fabrication business started in 1947 by Louis Keller in Rothsay, MN. Six years later, Louis welcomed his brother, Cyril Keller, as an equal ownership partner. The Keller’s invented the Keller Loader, the world’s first skid-steer loader.[1]

[edit] History

Louis Keller made his first invention in the late 1940's—the world's first single-stage ribbon snow blower. However, he never received the patent for this device because he was late submitting the application.[2]

The invention for which Keller Manufacturing is most well-known is the skid-steer loader. In 1957, they were approached by a local turkey farmer who had recently purchased a two-story barn. He required a piece of equipment which was light and manoeuvrable enough to be used on the second story to clear manure. The Keller's designed the world’s first skid-steer loader and sold it to the man in 1957. By the fall of 1958, an additional six loaders had been sold to local poultry farmers.[3]

The Keller's were introduced to Les Melroe, of the Melroe Manufacturing Company, in 1958. He was impressed with the loader's design and invited the brothers to display a unit at the Minnesota State Fair. There was enough interest from fair-goers to prompt Melroe to purchase the exclusive manufacturing rights for the machine. The Keller's were hired by Melroe to continue to improve their design. The first Melroe branded loader was released in early 1959; and Keller Manufacturing was sold at auction in the spring of 1960.[4]

[edit] References

  1. HOW THE BOBCATTM SKID-STEER LOADER CAME TO BE. SkidSteerHistory.com [October 13, 2009].
  2. HOW THE BOBCATTM SKID-STEER LOADER CAME TO BE. SkidSteerHistory.com [October 13, 2009].
  3. HOW THE BOBCATTM SKID-STEER LOADER CAME TO BE. SkidSteerHistory.com [October 13, 2009].
  4. HOW THE BOBCATTM SKID-STEER LOADER CAME TO BE. SkidSteerHistory.com [October 13, 2009].