Link-Belt Company - Link-Belt Speeder - Link-Belt Construction Equipment, 1922-1928 and n. d.
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Brief Description: This collection consists of sales and service literature and photographic media discussing the company’s products; business records, periodicals and msicellaneous records documenting its operations; and memorablia.
Held at:
Historical Construction Equipment Association
16623 Liberty Hi Rd
Bowling Green, OH 43402
Phone: 419-352-5616
Fax: 419-352-6068
Email: tberry [at]
Record Series Number: 1/101/463
Created by: Link-Belt (1875-current)
Volume: 0.1 Linear Feet
Arrangement: Group 1, Machinery Records, is arranged by subseries, record format, record type, machine class, machine model, and publication date (where known).
Biographical Note for Link-Belt (1875-current) :

Organizational History

Ewart Manufacturing Company was founded in 1875 to produce the detachable link chain patented on September 1, 1874 by William Dana Ewart. Two companies were subsequently organized: Link-Belt Machinery Company in 1880, and Link-Belt Engineering Company in 1888. The two Link-Belt firms were consolidated into the Link-Belt Company in Chicago, Illinois, in 1906.

Circa 1922, Link-Belt Company acquired H. W. Caldwell & Son Company of Chicago, Illinois. As of 1922, Link-Belt operated manufacturing plants in Chicago; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Indiana (under the Dodge Works and Ewart Works names), and Toronto, Ontario. Machine shops were operated under the names of Link-Belt Northwest Company in Seattle, Washington, and Link-Belt Pacific Company in San Francisco, California. It also operated an office under the Link-Belt Pacific Company name in Los Angeles, California, and a Dodge Steel Company plant and the Olney Foundry in Philadelphia.

In 1939, Link-Belt Company purchased the Speeder Machinery Corporation and merged its machines with Speeder's smaller machines (3/8 to 3/4 yd.) to form the Link-Belt Speeder Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Link-Belt Company. Link-Belt Speeder eventually was located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In 1967, the FMC Corporation merged with the Link-Belt Company, and Link-Belt Speeder later became the Construction Equipment Group of FMC Corporation, marketing Link-Belt construction equipment products worldwide.

In 1986, the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company was formed as a joint venture between FMC Corporation and Sumitomo Heavy Industries, formalizing a relationship dating back to 1962.

In 1998, in a reorganization to focus on cranes, the excavator product line was spun off from the Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company. The LBX Company, a stand-alone, joint-venture company, was formed between Sumitomo Construction Machinery Company and Case Corporation to market and sell Link-Belt excavators. LBX operates as a board-controlled, stand-alone company and is responsible for all Link-Belt earthmoving, forestry and material handling equipment in North and South America. (Source: LBX website,, Nov 29 2005.) Sales literature distributed at ConExpo-CON/AGG 2008 was published over both the LBX and Link-Belt names, with the machines bearing the Link-Belt name and LBX identified as standing for Link-Belt Excavator Company.

Today's Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Heavy Industries. (Source: Link-Belt website,, Nov 29 2005.)

Product Information

Model nomenclature:

The number suffixes for LS-series crawler cable excavators were continued after the LS prefix was discontinued prior to 03/1999.

Link-Belt offered a branded wheel loader line from 2003 through 2005. Their discontinuance was noted by Equipment Watch at

Major patents and innovations:

• Claims to have introduced the first crawler mounted cable excavator, in 1922.

• Introduced “Speed-O-Matic” hydraulic power controls for cable excavators in 1936.

• Introduced “full-function design” in 1949.

Trade names used:

Link-Belt used the following trade names for its products:

• Hylab: Cable crawler crane.

• Logmaster: Hydraulic log loader.

• Quantum: Hydraulic backhoe.

• Scrapmaster: Hydraulic scrap handler.

• Speed-O-Matic: Power hydraulic controls for cable excavators.

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this collection.
Subject Index
Apron feeder
Bagging hopper
Belt conveyor
Bin gate
Bin spout
Box car loader
Bucket conveyor
Bucket elevator
Bucket loader
Cable backhoe
Cable shovel
Car unloader
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Chicago, Illinois
Coal bagger
ConExpo/CON-AGG 2008
Conveyor idler
Crawler crane
Crawler dragline
Deck screen
Dewatering conveyor
Dodge Steel Company
Dodge Works
Dragline bucket
Dredge Portland
Dull Inclined Conical
E. T. Slider
Ewart Manufacturing Company
Ewart Works
FMC Corporation
Great Northern
H. D. Conkey & Company
H. W. Caldwell & Son
Hydraulic backhoe
Hydraulic control
Hydraulic log loader
Hydraulic scrap handler
Illinois Central
Indianapolis, Indiana
Johnson Special Front Dumping Shovel
Lexington, Kentucky
Link-Belt Company
Link-Belt Construction Equipment Company
Link-Belt Engineering Company
Link-Belt Excavator Company
Link-Belt Machinery Company
Link-Belt Northwest
Link-Belt Pacific
Link-Belt Speeder
Lock No. 43
Locomotive crane
Los Angeles, California
Louisville, Kentucky
Model nomenclature
Ohio River
Ohio River Sand Company
Olney Foundry
One-Man Power Swiveling Loader
Ownership and operating costs
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia Subway Construction Company
Pratt box car loader
Radial stacker
Rotary screen
Sand classifier
Sand screw
Sand scrubber
Sand separator
San Francisco, California
Seattle, Washington
Slackline dragline
Slackline dragline bucket
Slat conveyor
Speeder Machinery Corporation
Speed reducer
Sumitomo Construction Machinery Company
Sumitomo Heavy Industries
Toronto, Ontario
Trommel screen
Truck crane
U. S. Engineering Department
Wash screen
Wheel loader
William Dana Ewart
Genres/Forms of Material
Crane rating chart
Plant layout
Prospect evaluation
Sales literature
Spec sheet
Technical reference
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Acquisition Notes:   

This is an artificial collection comprised of records from multiple accessions. Initial records in this collection were found in files. Additional records have been added from:

• Field collections at ConExpo-Con/AGG 2002, 2005 and 2008

• Judd Griffith Collection, Accession 2000-0113 (received Sep 22, 2000)

• Columbus Equipment Company, Accession 2004-0088 (received Jun 21, 2004)

• Donald W. Frantz Collection, Accession 2005-0150 (received Dec 31, 2005)

• John Hubble, Accession 2006-0103 (received  Sep 20, 2006)

• M. P. McCaffrey Collection, Accession 2007-0039 (received May 3, 2007)

• Gary E. Hansen, Accession 2007-0090 (received Dec 7, 2007)

• Jim Dan Hill Library, University of Wisconsin – Superior, Accession 2008-0047 (received Apr 15, 2008)

Related Materials: Cited url is corporate website as of February 2010. For more information please see