The History of IMTS

Highlights from IMTS 1960

An international lounge was set up to accommodate the increasing number of international visitors attending the machine tool show.

With the computer revolution in its early stages, numerical control was a hot topic as the Machine Tool Exposition-1960, scheduled for Sept. 6 - 16, approached. As described at the time, it involved adapting the principle of the electronic computer to design machines to respond to instructions coded in number form on punched or magnetic tape and transmitted electronically to servo-mechanisms that operate the machine tool.

According to a Metalworking report, "Some say it will be a numerical-control show. Only five years ago, at the 1955 Machine Tool Show, a few numerically controlled machines piqued the interest of all visitors. The years since then have been filled with its excitement. This year, you'll see the fulfillment of builders' plans to develop the numerically controlled equipment needed to improve industry-wide, metalworking's production efficiency."

Alan C. Mattison, President of the National Machine Tool Builders' Association (now AMT), sponsor of the exposition, emphasized the importance of automatic control of machines. "This is a basic development, for it changes the whole concept of present-day production. . . . Rate of production and accuracy are being built into the machine itself."

In addition to the Machine Tool Exposition held in Chicago's International Amphitheater, there was concurrently held (Sept. 6 - 16), by agreement with NMTBA, a Production Engineering Show at the Navy Pier. This show was devoted to "exhibits of mechanisms, instruments, and equipment" that support machine tools.

There was also a third show, the 2nd International Coliseum Machinery Show, managed by A. Byron Perkins & Associates, Inc., held Sept. 7 - 15. Both American and foreign manufacturers exhibited. With technical changes on the horizon and increased international interest, Tooling & Production magazine described the three shows as generating, "the kind of excitement associated with the impending arrival of one of Barnum & Bailey's three-ring extravaganzas."