Historian seeks to speak with I&M Tanners Creek workers about Cat Twin D8

Did you work at the I&M Tanners Creek Power Plant in Lawrenceburg during the 1950s or early 1960s?

Or perhaps you know a little about Rubin Coal Co. that had offices in Cleves, Ohio?
Peterson CAT Publications/Historian Eileen Grafton would like the chance to talk to you if you know anything about a Cat Twin D8 used at the power plant, with a possible connection to the coal company, around that time period.

Grafton is writing a history book for Peterson-CAT, the San Francisco-based Caterpillar dealer with territory in Northern California, Oregon and Southern Washington.

The company was founded by her grandfather, Howard Peterson, in 1936, said Grafton.

R.A. ‘Buster’ Peterson, the founder’s brother, designed and built several customized Cat machines from late 1940s to the 1970s, she said.

“He patented 34 designs and sold most of them to Caterpillar. He was so successful that Caterpillar used Buster and his SEQ group (Special Equipment Services Shop) as a sort of West Coast engineering department because they could put ideas into iron faster without all the red tape their own engineers had to deal with,” said Grafton.

One of Buster’s most successful designs was the Cat Twin D8, two Cat D8s joined together by removing the inside tracks of each and bolting the two tractors together, she said.

“At that time, the D8 was the highest horsepower machine Cat built,” said Grafton.

She already has been in contact with people in the Lawrenceburg area who have been very helpful, said Grafton. But she has a few more dots to connect and needs additional help.

To contact Grafton, call 1-510-618-2508 or egrafton@petersoncat.com.

The Dearborn County Register & Journal Press

Mailing address:
     Register Publications,
     126 W. High St.
     Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
Phone: 1-812-537-0063
Fax: 1-812-537-5576