The 500 Lake Cook Road Connection

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March 27, 2018 – I recently heard from John Fischer of Palatine, Ill., who made an interesting observation regarding Caterpillar’s new Illinois headquarters: “As one might envision the selected workers of Caterpillar comfortably making their way northward from Peoria, Ill., to their new homestead(s) in Deerfield, Ill. – along pleasing interstates built with earlier versions of the very sorts of equipment they are now responsible for – one might also envision a similar journey made just after World War II as the nation was now finally able to use such sorts of equipment for more productive purposes,” he wrote. “This was the journey from Ohio of a small company called Tractomotive that also sought out the northern part of Illinois as a promising site for its operation that would be complete in its capabilities – with all operations from engineering through production at one spot. Its products would in time be shipped all over the world under the original name as well as Allis-Chalmers and finally as FiatAllis. And the connection? That would be that address of 500 Lake Cook Road – perhaps eventualy to become as well known as 100 Northeast Adams Street – that was in fact for many years the exact same one for Caterpillar’s former adversary at times, and in a rather interesting turn of things, now to be officially recognized as predecessor. Hallowed ground at 500 Lake Cook Road. There’s just no other explanation.” And now you know the rest of the story.

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