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Bobcat's beginnings on display at National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum

Joe Keller stands next to a three-wheel loader
Joe Keller stands with one of the original three-wheel loaders at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum. Bobcat

Bobcat Company has its history on display in a new exhibit within the National Inventors Hall of Fame Museum in Alexandria, Virginia.

The opening of the museum exhibit follows the addition of Cyril and Louis Keller, the brothers who invented the world's first compact loader (later named the Bobcat skid-steer loader), into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF).

"As Bobcat celebrates 65 years since the invention of the machine that created the compact equipment industry, we are thrilled to uplift our history to museum attendees of all ages," says Mike Ballweber, president of Doosan Bobcat North America. "As a company, we continue to grow and evolve, but we stay connected to our roots through our spirit of innovation sparked by the Keller brothers."

The museum exhibit features one of the Keller brothers' original three-wheel loaders, a timeline of Bobcat's history, and a video display highlighting various aspects of Bobcat's products, people, and initiatives. 

The loader on display in the exhibit was one of the first 10 compact loaders built in the late 1950s by the Keller brothers and has been offered on loan from the Keller family. Joe Keller, son of the late Louis Keller, transported this machine nearly 1,400 miles from North Dakota to Virginia to be exhibited in the museum. Along his journey, he visited several Bobcat dealerships to showcase the loader to staff, users, and fans. 

The Bobcat exhibit will be on display through April 2024. The NIHF Museum is located inside the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia. It is free and open to the public Monday to Friday and the first Saturday of every month.

Cyril and Louis Keller will be inducted posthumously into NIHF on October 26.

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