The History of IMTS

Highlights from IMTS 1947

Having held three successful machine tool shows in Cleveland (1927, 1929, 1935) the Association reserved space in the Cleveland Public Auditorium for the period of September 24th to October 21st, 1939, for a fourth machine tool show. However, within weeks of the planned opening, history intervened. A vote of the membership (by telegram on September 5th) canceled the show because of the outbreak of war in Europe.

The following years saw U.S. industry shift all of its output to military production. No shows were scheduled during World War II, although in late 1944 tentative plans were made to return to Cleveland's Public Auditorium in September 1946.

In the end, the first post-war show was scheduled for Chicago, based on the fact that it had the largest amount of potential exhibit space, and the best facilities for visitors. The Association's first choice for their first exhibit in 12 years was the Dodge Tucker Plant, occupied by the Tucker Corporation. The backup choice was the Navy Pier, which was to be turned over to the city of Chicago on Oct. 1, 1946.

The backup was not necessary. An agreement was reached with the Tucker Corporation to lease 500,000 square feet of space located in the Dodge Plant at 7401 South Cicero Avenue, Chicago.

Show dates were Sept. 17 - 26, 1947. Dismantling of the "world's greatest machine tool show" continued through October 29th. The final report confirmed that it was "a great show - a success in which every Association member can justifiably share credit."

IMTS Story: I'll Never Forget That Show!

At the 1947 Machine Tool Show in Chicago, all machines were required to be painted the same shade of 'machine tool gray.' So the Cincinnati Milling Machine Co., introducing a new cutting fluid, offered it to all exhibitors. Oh, yes, it was bright pink. It really stood out against all that gray and was a great promotion. Can you imagine the sales person who had this idea trying to explain it to his boss? Or to top executives? Must have been a great story ...


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