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Orenstein & Koppel (1876-1999) | Historical Construction Equipment Association

Name: Orenstein & Koppel (1876-1999)
Variant Name: O & K; Arthur Koppel Company ; Orenstein-Arthur Koppel Company; Orenstein & Koppel & Arthur Koppel Company;

Historical Note:

Arthur Koppel and Benno Orenstein formed the partnership of Orenstein & Koppel (O & K) in Berlin, Germany, Apr 1 1876. Circa 1885, the Arthur Koppel Company was formed to represent O & K’s business overseas. In 1905 or 1906, Koppel built an industrial railroad car plant in Koppel, Pennsylvania. After Arthur Koppel died in 1908, his company and O & K operated for a time under the names of “Orenstein-Arthur Koppel Company” and “Orenstein & Koppel & Arthur Koppel Company” before returning to the O & K name.

When the United States entered World War I, many of the Pennsylvania plant’s German managers were arrested. The company’s American assets were seized by the U. S. Government and sold to Pressed Steel Car Company, which operated them as a new subsidiary, Koppel Industrial Car & Equipment. Koppel Industrial Car ceased operations in 1937, and its assets were sold at auction the next year.

In April 1998, O & K either sold its large hydraulic excavator and shovel line to Terex Corporation (Collection 532), or was acquired outright by Terex. Terex made O & K, or this product line, part of the Mining Division of Terex Earthmoving and retained the O & K name. The construction product lines, comprised of small excavators, crawler tractors, motor graders and wheel loaders, to New Holland Construction (Collection 482) in 1999.


Bucyrus International (Collection 17) acquired the mining equipment lines of Terex Corporation (Collection 532) in February 2010. The lines involved included Reedrill (Collection 1244), O & K (Collection 1123) and Unit Rig & Equipment (Collection 1527). The lines were re-branded as Bucyrus. Caterpillar Inc. (Collection 228) acquired Bucyrus International (Collection 17) in July 2011, and soon rebranded all products and operations as Caterpillar Global Mining LLC.

Sources: Sales literature;  Bucyrus, Caterpillar and Terex press releases; http://www.midcontinent.org/rollingstock/builders/koppel.htm.
Note Author: Thomas Berry

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