Bobcat Finds a Home at the Smithsonian

Published in the August 2009 Issue Published online: Aug 06, 2009

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History recently acquired 56 cubic feet of records from Bobcat Co., which manufactures compact construction and agricultural equipment and is based in North Dakota. This donation includes corporate records relating to American manufacturing and marketing as well as business development. Housed in the museum's Archives Center, these papers join the museum's extensive collection of agricultural, industrial and business papers. A selection of these records is scheduled to be on view from Nov. 30 through Jan. 17, 2010.

The Bobcat Co. records focus primarily on production, marketing and advertising. They span a period from the 1940s to the present and illustrate the progression of a once-small, family-owned company that emerged as an industry leader. The donation includes photographs, product literature, advertisements, employee newsletters, drawings, scrapbooks and audiovisual materials. The collection also contains notes on a 1985 trip to Japan where employees learned about Japanese manufacturing and engineering techniques, some of which were implemented in Bobcat factories. These papers are available for research and complement the Archives Center's agricultural holdings, which include the Everett Bickley Collection, the William C. Kost Farm Records and the Southern Agricultural Oral History Project.

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