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A Brief History of the Conveyor Belt System

The conveyor belt system is used to transport heavy materials from one place to another. Before its invention, manual physical effort was required to carry bulky objects, which made the goods prone to mishandling and damage. Aside for the need of more people, it was also time consuming. Indeed, conveyor belting has improved the lives of labourers, especially those who work in the manufacturing industry.

Let’s go back in time to discover more about the humble beginnings of conveyor belts.
  • 1892 – Thomas Robin invented the conveyor belt to move coal and ore for Thomas Edison and his Edison Ore-Milling Company in Ogdensburg, New Jersey.
  • 1901 – Sandvik was a Swedish engineering company that produced the first steel conveyor belts.
  • 1905 - Richard Sutcliffe, an Irish born mining engineer, invented the world's first underground conveyor belt.
  • 1913 – Henry Ford developed conveyor belt assembly lines at Ford Motors’ Highland Park, Michigan factory to speed up motor production.
  • 1970 – Intralox, a Louisiana- based company, introduced and registered the first patent for all plastic, modular belting.
  • 1972 – The longest straight conveyor in the world was made by Hyacynthe Marcel Bocchetti and the French Society REI.  It measured 13.8km in length.
  • 2015 – The longest conveyor in the world is located in West Sahara. It runs over 60 miles from a Moroccan phosphate mine to the edge of the ocean.


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