The History of IMTS

Highlights from IMTS 1972, 1974, and 1976

The IMTS-72 International Lounge, ready and waiting for the influx of foreign visitors at the first International Machine Tool Show.

The 1972 International Machine Tool Show was marked by a number of firsts: The first show with international exhibitors, the first show with non-NMTBA members exhibiting, the first show on a two-year cycle, and the first show to utilize the facilities of McCormick Place. The show occupied both the International Amphitheatre and the newly constructed McCormick Place (the building now known as Lakeside Center).

Magazine articles preceding the show, emphasized an increased awareness of changing technologies. Numerical control, which had been a hot topic at the 1970 show, was evolving and becoming an "irrevocable commitment." Developing from the new computerized technologies, Integrated Manufacturing Systems (IMS) were described by Phil Geier Jr., Chairman, Cincinnati Milacron Inc., as a necessary goal to improve productivity. He predicted that by 1980, a computer software system for full automation and optimization of all steps in part manufacturing would be developed and in wide use. He wasn't alone in his predictions. Donald E. Chace, Product Development Manager at Digital Equipment Corp.'s Industrial Products Group, described the future of "adaptive control, where the control function is extended to optimize the machine's function."

The Mall Level of McCormick Place at IMTS-76. First used in 1972, the hall expanded exhibitor's possibilities with its spaciousness and high ceilings.

The 1974 show also marked a first. It was the first show managed by NMTBA through its subsidiary the National Machine Tool Builders' Show Inc. Management was no longer contracted to an outside company.

As in 1972, the 1974 and 1976 shows occupied both McCormick Place and the International Amphitheatre. And once again there was an emphasis on the developing technology of numerical control. Safety and noise suppression features were also prominent at IMTS-76 as the industry responded to an evolving work place.

Register to Attend IMTS

Don’t miss the chance to be part of the premier manufacturing technology show in North America. See you in Chicago in September 2020!

Sign Up for IMTS Today

Subscribe to the Insider

The IMTS Insider is your one-stop destination for updates about IMTS as well as the latest news from the industry. Subscribe to have the Insider delivered to your inbox monthly!

Get the Insider

Tell your IMTS Story

Do you have an unforgettable IMTS moment? We would love to hear your favorite IMTS anecdotes from shows past... your story might even be featured on!

Submit Your Story