The History of IMTS

Highlights from IMTS 1935

The Association had sponsored successful machine tool shows in 1927 and again in 1929. However, by the early 1930s the decision of when to again present an exhibition of manufacturing machinery was more difficult. One of the factors considered was the Index of Machine Tool Orders, which showed very definite three-year cycles. There was some disagreement, however, as to what point in the cycle was best for a show.

Times were uncertain, but in the spring of 1931 a decision was made and contracts were executed with the city of Cleveland for the space and with Roberts Everett Associates for the management of the exposition. The show would take place in September 1932.

However, business conditions continued to be unfavorable, so much so that the show was postponed twice, first to September 1933 and then to September 1935.

The show was finally scheduled for September 11 to 21, 1935, with a Preview Day for top executives on September 10 and an Overseas Dinner on September 17.

In the forward to the program the Association noted:

It is with peculiar pride that the National Machine Tool Builders’ Association presents the Machine Tool Show of 1935.

To say of an industrial exposition that it is “largest” and “greatest” is at any time, perhaps, reason for pride. The Machine Tool Show that you are visiting is not alone the greatest exposition of machine tools ever presented in this country but is also, so far as can be determined, the largest single-industry exposition ever held anywhere.

The Association’s pride in this show has further basis, however. The decision, reached a year ago, to hold the show in 1935 was made when doubt, uncertainty and misgiving were conspicuous characteristics of all business. It was impossible for those who made the decision not to be aware of these conditions.

Yet, such was its certainty of the merits of the new developments it had to offer that the industry immediately prepared to present the impressive, inclusive show that you now see ... superlative in all its phases: revealing far reaching and perhaps incalculably significant progress in the machining arts.”

The show was a success and plans were made to schedule another show in two to four years. Ironically, in the program of the 1935 show, there was a hint as to why it would be 12 long years before another machine tool show took place. On the evening of September 12 Kenneth R. Condit, Editor, American Machinist, presented a talk on “Machine Shops in Nazi Germany.


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