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Elected January 1987

Harry H. Barber

1878-1948

 

Following graduation from high school Mr. Barber was employed in the freight department of the Illinois Central Railroad for seven years prior to attending college at the University of Illinois, from where he graduated in 1907 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation, he joined the Stephens-Adamson Mfg. Co., of Aurora, Illinois, where he worked in the engineering and sales engineering departments.

 

In 1916, he and Mr. William B. Greene co-founded the Barber-Greene Company and began to develop a line of standardized material handling machines, including a portable belt conveyor, a self-feeding bucket loader, and a vertical boom ditcher. In 1930 the company produced the first experimental asphalt traveling mixing plant and finishing machine which was first used on a paving project near Rolla, Missouri. During the depression of the 1930's the company continued development of asphalt paving and materials processing equipment, resulting in a complete line of entirely new machines and methods for asphalt construction which revolutionized the industry and established new standards for road and airport construction. During World War II, the company was also instrumental in the development of new machines and methods of construction for the U.S. Corps of Engineers around the world.

 

Mr. Barber held a total of 70 patents, including 29 foreign patents for construction and material handling equipment in 1940 was presented the Pioneer Award of the National Association of Manufacturers in connection with the observance of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the American Patent System.

 

He served as President of the Barber-Greene Company from 1916 until 1945, when he became Chairman of the Board.