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February 20, 2008 9:24 AM CST

Bobcat Launches 50th Anniversary Celebration

Bobcat celebrates a half century with contest


Bobcat celebrates 50th years.
Bobcat celebrates 50th years.

In 1958, a company from North Dakota forged a partnership with two blacksmith-inventor brothers and built a machine that allowed people to work better, smarter and faster. Melroe Manufacturing Company purchased the rights to an innovative machine designed by Cyril and Louis Keller. The first Melroe Self-Propelled Loader was a three-wheeled, front-end loader that was the precursor to the first skid-steer loader in 1960 and the Bobcat brand two years later.

Throughout 2008, Bobcat Company will commemorate the partnership of the Melroe brothers and the Keller brothers and the little loader that started the compact equipment industry 50 years ago. The celebration will include the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour, the How Bobcat Has Unleashed Me Contest and a special historical exhibit at CONEXPO - CON/AGG 2008.

How Bobcat Unleashed Me Contest
The How Bobcat Unleashed Me Contest asks users to share how Bobcat equipment has helped them in performing work better, smarter and faster. To enter, equipment users need to write a brief essay about their experiences with Bobcat® equipment and fill out an entry form at the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed Web site, The grand prize winner will receive a $75,000 Bobcat gift certificate, good for products or attachments of the winner’s choice at a designated Bobcat dealership.

In addition, five second prize winners will receive $1,000 gift certificates, good for products or attachments of the winners’ choice at designated Bobcat dealerships in North America. Ten third prize winners will receive a Bobcat jacket and 50 monthly winners will receive a Limited Tailgate Edition of the book Bobcat: 50 Years of Opportunity, 1958 – 2008. Weekly winners will receive a Bobcat 50th anniversary hat. The grand prize winner will be selected from the weekly winners.

Selected winning entries will be posted on the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed Web site. Entries will be judged on creativity, quality, completeness and originality of answers, as well as supporting documents provided. The How Bobcat Unleashed Me Contest concludes on May 30, 2008.

Bobcat at CONEXPO - CON/AGG 2008
Industry professionals who gather at CONEXPO - CON/AGG 2008 are encouraged to visit the Bobcat booth (G-100). The booth will include displays with information on Bobcat history and the latest innovative Bobcat compact equipment. A dozen early Bobcat loaders, dating back to the very first Melroe M-60 self-propelled loader, will be the centerpiece of the CONEXPO - CON/AGG 2008 exhibit.

Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour
The Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour is a traveling exhibit that will visit 23 Bobcat dealers in the United States and Canada. This exhibit will include an overview of Bobcat history, Bobcat equipment from the last 50 years and Bobcat collectibles and memorabilia from the last half century. A schedule of Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed Road Tour stops can be found below.

The Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed Road Tour will conclude with a homecoming event in Gwinner, N.D. and a Bobcat employee event in Bismarck, N.D., the home of two flagship Bobcat manufacturing plants. These events will celebrate Bobcat history and heritage in the cities where Bobcat continues to manufacture its line of compact equipment. The homecoming and employee events of the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour will take place in

At each Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour Stop, 10 attendees will be selected as finalists for The Great Road Tour Giveaway. At the end of the Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour, finalists from each dealership will be included in a national drawing. The winner of The Great Road Tour Giveaway will receive one of two $50,000 contractor equipment packages.

Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed North American Road Tour Stops

  • Saturday, May 17: Bobcat of Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Tuesday, May 20: KC Bobcat, Blue Springs, Missouri

  • Thursday, May 22: Bobcat of Dallas, Dallas, Texas

  • Saturday, May 31: Bobcat of Orlando, Orlando, Florida

  • Tuesday, June 3: Bobcat of Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Florida

  • Thursday, June 5: Perimeter Bobcat, Lake City, Georgia

  • Saturday, June 7: Bobcat of Spartanburg, Spartanburg, South Carolina

  • Tuesday, June 10: Triangle Equipment, Morrisville, North Carolina

  • Thursday, June 12: Bobcat of Northern Virginia, Bristow, Virginia

  • Saturday, June 14: North Jersey Bobcat, Totowa, New Jersey

  • Wednesday, June 18: Garden State Bobcat, Freehold, New Jersey

  • Saturday, June 21: Bobcat of Akron, Canton, Ohio

  • Tuesday, June 24: Bobcat Enterprises, Hamilton, Ohio

  • Saturday, June 28: Bobcat of Indy, Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Thursday, July 10: Bobcat of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

  • Saturday, July 12: Bobcat Country Sales and Surfwood Equipment, Vancouver, British Columbia

  • Tuesday, July 15: Bobcat West, Seattle, Washington

  • Saturday, July 19: Bobcat West, San Francisco, California

  • Thursday, July 24: Bobcat of Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Saturday, July 26: Intermountain Bobcat, Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Wednesday, July 30: Bobcat of the Rockies, Golden, Colorado

  • Saturday, August 2: Bobcat of St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri

  • Tuesday, August 5: Tri-State Bobcat, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • Mid-August: Bobcat 50 Years Unleashed Road Tour Homecoming in Gwinner and Bismarck, North Dakota
Fifty years ago, Bobcat Company unleashed a way to work better, smarter, faster. During 2008, the company is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bobcat compact equipment, which began with the Melroe Self-Propelled Loader — a three-wheeled front-end loader — in 1958. That machine evolved into the Bobcat skid-steer loader and spawned the worldwide compact equipment industry. Today, Bobcat continues to lead the world in the design, manufacture and distribution of compact equipment.

About the Author

Bobcat Company is a leading provider of compact equipment for global construction, rental, landscaping, agriculture, grounds maintenance, government, utility, industrial and mining markets. For additional information about Bobcat Company, its products and services, point your Web browser to


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