The Holt Manufacturing Company began with the 1883 founding of Stockton Wheel Service in Stockton, California, United States. Benjamin Holt, later credited with patenting the first workable crawler tractor design, incorporated the Holt Manufacturing Company in 1892. Holt Manufacturing Company was the first company to successfully manufacture a continuous track tractor By the early 20th century, Holt Manufacturing Company was the leading manufacturer of combine harvesters in the US, and the leading California-based manufacturer of steam traction engines., Holt Manufacturing Company operated from Stockton, California, until opening a satellite facility in Walla Walla, Washington, to serve the Pacific Northwest. In 1909 Holt Manufacturing Company expanded by purchasing the facility of defunct farm implement maker Colean Manufacturing Company in East Peoria, Illinois. Holt changed the name of the company to Holt Caterpillar Company, although he did not trademark the name Caterpillar until 1910., The company's initial products focused on agricultural machinery and were distributed internationally. During World War I, almost all of its production was military materiel. Its tractors were widely used by the Allies to supplant horses pulling haul heavy artillery and tow supply trains. Holt tractors also played a part, to varying degrees, in the development of military tanks in Great Britain, France, and Germany. Holt's equipment was credited with helping the Allies to win the war., The Holt Manufacturing Company gained worldwide recognition for the quality and durability of its equipment., As the war ended, the Holt company was left with huge surplus inventories of heavy-duty tractors ill-suited for the agricultural market, which had been dominated during the war by the Holt Company's primary competitor, C. L. Best. The company decided to focus instead on heavy construction equipment and sought to capitalize on the passage of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921. Laden with debt and needing more capital to switch its product line, the company struggled to move forward., Both the Holt Manufacturing Company and C. L. Best were hurt by the depression of 1920–21 which further inhibited sales. Both companies streamlined their over-lapping product lines. The two companies had spent about US$1.5 million in legal fees fighting each other in various contractual, trademark, and patent infringement lawsuits since 1905. On the advice of investors, the two companies merged in 1925 to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co. As of 2010, Caterpillar Inc. was the 229th largest company in the world.