Online and Brick and Mortar Museums Preserve the History of the Forklift

If there are museums around the world dedicated to classic automobiles, then why

A 1962 Hyster forklift. (Courtesy:

A 1962 Hyster forklift.

shouldn’t there be online and brick and mortar museums dedicated to the history of classic forklifts?

Actually, there is. Or there are. There are at least three museums online that cater to fans of forklifts. One of those sites also has a brick and mortar forklift museum in Derby, England. was launched on May 5, 2016 and serves as an international platform where forklift enthusiasts can meet, share photos of classic forklifts and obtain the latest news about exotic forklift models.

The website depends on forklift enthusiasts to take photographs of vintage forklifts and send them into the site to share with fellow enthusiasts. Although the site has only recently

A 1969 Still forklift. (Courtesy:

A 1969 Still forklift.

gone live, it claims to have the largest collection of vintage forklift photos. is a website that collects crowd sourced material on forklifts and other types of material handling equipment from the past.

The site’s curator encourages people to contribute forklifts material and to include information on the forklift make, model, year of manufacture, and where it was last seen.

The National Fork Truck Heritage Centre in Derby, England was opened in October 2006. The Centre’s website asserts that people who would otherwise never see a forklift in their lives have visited the site.

The National Fork Truck Heritage Centre’s mission is to record and explain how forklift trucks have evolved over the years and how this has affected the machines’ safety and

An Allis Chalmers-Kalmar forklift. Exact year of introduction not known. (Courtesy:

An Allis Chalmers-Kalmar forklift. Exact year of introduction not known.


The Centre displays more than 80 lifts and includes machines that were designed to lift very small loads including half a ton to lifts that were designed to lift up to 9 tons. The Centre also includes an archive that has a collection of information on about 170 forklift truck manufacturers worldwide that made forklifts starting in 1917 to the present. The archive also holds more than half a million references associated with the material handling industry.

The display includes a 1928 Yale stand-on counterbalance lift that is the oldest forklift truck in the world; the 1946 prototype Coventry Climax “ET 199” and the 1946 Clifford “Aerolift”, the oldest British forklifts; and the 1945 Ransome Sims and Jefferies “RSJ” and “NU4”, battery-operated platform trucks.

Also included is the first reach truck made by Komatsu of Japan.

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