Figure 01. The Allies would deploy more than 100,000 tractors during World War II. Earthmoving equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar,
Yale University Press/reprinted with permission from the Wisconsin Historical Society Figure 01. The Allies would deploy more than 100,000 tractors during World War II. Earthmoving equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar,

From our sibling Journal of Light Construction, a look back at the history of the two-tracked man-made metal monster that not only made site work more efficient but saved tens of thousands of construction workers from chronic back pain.

Next month marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). This act, along with other regulations passed from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, helped end an era of large-scale, federally funded construction projects that followed World War II. A new book by Francesca Russello Ammon examines this period of unbridled demolition and construction through the lens of the machine that came to symbolize it—the bulldozer. In Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape (Yale University Press), Ammon explains how the dozer transformed from a heroic weapon in the “arsenal of democracy” into a tool for urban planning, suburban development, and the creation of the interstate highway system.

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