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Where it all began, what it is today.

It began with 12,000 visitors for a 5 day exhibition - today it has grown to over 120,000 visitors and lasts 8 days. However, don't be overwhelmed with its size, here is a little background, some hints and suggestions while in Chicago, and even where to dine.

International Manufacturing Technology Shows (IMTS) have been around for over seven decades, and still continue to grow. The first Machine Tool Show, sponsored by the National Machine Tool Builders' Association (NMTBA), was held at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, OH. With 12,000 visitors and 184 exhibitors, the small auditorium was packed. In conjunction with that, a range of associations held meetings that attracted a wide audience.

The second Machine Tool Show ran two years later in 1929, again in Cleveland. Unfortunately, the Great Depression canceled the 1931 and 1933 shows, but in 1935 Cleveland's Public Auditorium was once again the site for a third Machine Tool Show. With the outbreak of the war in Europe, the 1939 show was canceled. No shows were scheduled during WWII so the third Machine Tool Show was not held until 1947. That show was held at the empty Chrysler-Dodge plant in Chicago, IL. Total attendance in 1947 was 96,000.

In 1955 the fifth Machine Tool Show was held at the International Ampitheatre, a facility operated by the Union Stockyard and Transit Co. Chicago, IL, with the provision that space be added to extend the total area to 430,000 sq ft. Running concurrently at Navy Pier was the first Production Engineering Show.

For the 1960 show, the sixth, space became a problem, yet again, so Union Stockyard and Transit Co agreed to build another addition, Donnovan Hall, to add 112,000 sq ft of exhibit space, bringing gross exhibition space to 585,000 sq ft. Once again a Production Engineering Show was held concurrently at Navy Pier and over 60,000 visitors attended both events.

The seventh show was held in 1965 at the International Ampitheatre and the concurrently running Production Engineering Show was held at the new McCormick place, as was a Systems Engineering Conference. The eighth Machine Tool Show, held in 1970, was the last of the traditional 5-yr shows and NMTBA decided to switch to a 2-yr cycle.

The ninth show, held in 1972 at the International Ampitheatre and the new McCormick Place East facility, had more foreign visitors in attendance than ever before and was the first international show on the 2-yr cycle. Over 65,000 attended, the exhibit covered nearly 450,000 sq ft, and the change in the show was apparent.

The International Machine Tool Shows (IMTS) was held in 1974 with more than 750 exhibitors from 25 countries covering over 500,000 sq ft. In 1976, exhibit space grew to 530,000 sq ft with 983 exhibitors representing 27 countries. IMTS 78 accommodated 1002 exhibitors and had 640,000 sq ft of exhibit space. IMTS 80 featured the largest number of companies to ever exhibit in an American tool show - 1143 - representing 32 nations and covering 800,000 sq ft of exhibit space. Total attendance was 106,891. IMTS 82 expanded even more with 900,000 sq ft of exhibit space and had 97,000 in attendance. Technical conference sessions were added in 1982 too.

The 1984 IMTS show occupied 844,000 sq ft of space with some 96,000 visitors and more than 1000 companies from 28 nations. McCormick Place North opened for IMTS 86 and that show exceeded 1 million net sq ft of exhibit space. Almost 99,000 visitors attended IMTS 86 and saw over 1475 exhibitions. By 1988 over 106,000 visitors and 1299 exhibitors attended. IMTS 90 was the most successful show to that point with 116,159 registrants, 8574 being international visitors. 1990's show was when the name officially changed to International Manufacturing Technology Show and the first pavilion - Forming and Fabricating Pavilion - was unveiled. IMTS 92 attracted 102,941 visitors to view 1121 exhibits throughout all three McCormick Place buildings. By 1994, IMTS had a near-record 115,018 visitors - 14,588 international attendees - traipsing across 976,018 sq ft of exhibit space.

IMTS 96 broke all records. 121,601 visitors filled the North and East Buildings and part of the not-yet-complete South Building totaling 1,173,560 sq ft. Additional pavilions were added and exhibitors brought 44 million pounds of machinery and materials into the halls. IMTS 98 exhibit space is already exceeding 1.3 million sq ft and is sure to attract over 100,000 visitors.

Dining Out

Chicago, known for its variety of cuisine, offers something for everyone. Whether American or Chinese, Italian or Mexican, you must check out some of these well known restaurants.

Wildfire features a menu of items prepared over an assortment of woods in a selection of methods ranging from a wood-burning oven or open grill, to a wood-fired rotisserie. 159 W Erie St, 312-787-9000

House of Hunan offers an 8-pg menu which is an Epicurean tour of China. 535 N Michigan Ave, 312-842-1404

Brasserie Jo is Chicago's first authentic French brasserie and offers the same style, environment, and classic cuisine traditionally found throughout France. 59 W Hubbard St, 312-595-0800

The Berghoff Restaurant offers a beautiful turn-of-the-century ambiance with a vast menu of contemporary American dishes and traditional German fare. 17 W Adams St, 312-427-3170

Athena is a fresh new Greek bistro offering traditional favorites plus homecooked regional dishes. 212 S Halsted St, 312-655-0000

The India House Restaurant incorporates all five regional cuisine's of India. 247 E Ontario St, 1st Floor, 312-280-4910

The Rosebud Cafe is a quaint Italian restaurant with local flavor celebrating it's 20th year of operation. 1500 W Taylor St, 312-942-1117

Hat Dance Restaurant offers traditional Mexican items as well as unusual entrees with a flair. 325 W Huron St, 312-649-0066

Connie's Pizza is synonymous with quality pizza and Italian specialties for over 25 years. 2373 S Archer Ave, 312-326-3443

Shaws Crab House offers the Blue Crab Lounge - a raw oyster bar featuring clams, lobster, and crab dishes as well as the main dining room reminiscent of an Old New England Seafood house. 21 E Hubbard St, 312-527-2722

Lawry's The Prime Rib is know for its roast prime rib carved tableside from a silver cart with Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, and salad. 100 E Ontario St, 312-787-5000

Take a break - see Chicago!!

Chicago is full of sports and the arts - from museums to comedy clubs, Jazz bars, and theatres. Why not take a break from the hectic schedule of trade shows to see some sights.

Comiskey Park, Chicago White Sox - Detroit Tigers Sept 9, 7:05pm; Sept 16, 7:05pm game vs Kansas City. 333 W [] St, 31-924-1000

Wrigley Field, Chicago Cubs - Pittsburgh Pirates, Sept 9, 1:20pm, Sept 10, 7:05pm. Milwaukee Brewers, Sept 11, 2:20pm, Sept 12, 3:05pm, Sept 13, 1:20pm. 1060 W Addison St, 312-440-2827

Adler Planetarium - The Planetarium features three floors of exhibits on astronomy, space exploration, telescopes, and navigation. Hours: Sat - Thur, 9am to 5pm; Fri, 9am to 9pm. 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, 312-322-0300

Art Institute of Chicago - The Art Institute features a permanent collection of art spanning 40 centuries. Mon, Wed, Thur, and Fri, 10:30am to 4:30pm; Tue, 10:30am to 8pm; Sat, 10am to 5pm; Sun, noon to 5pm. Michigan Ave at Adams St, 312-443-3600

Shedd Aquarium - The world's largest indoor aquarium offers more than 6000 aquatic animals representing more than 700 species from all over the world. The Oceanarium features beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, and seals. 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, 312-939-2438

John Hancock Center Observatory - View Chicago from up above. 875 Michigan Ave, 312-751-3681

Navy Pier - Featuring shops, restaurants, the IMAX Theatre, boat rides, and special events. Grand Ave and the lakefront, 312-595-PIER

Lincoln Park Conservatory - Offering visitors a beautiful plant and flower collection, and strolls through the Palm House, the Fernery, and the Cactus and Succulent House. 2400 N Stockton Dr, 312-742-769
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:International Manufacturing Technology Shows
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Jul 1, 1998
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