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The stories behind today's yellow iron wouldn't be complete without a history of the innovators who made these feats of engineering possible.

That's why the Milwaukee-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers has again opened up nominations for the AEM Hall of Fame, which celebrates the people who mechanized construction work.

Although the honor roll now includes more than 35 pioneers of heavy machinery, several gaping holes still remain.

For instance, where are the Ferwerda brothers, originally dairy farmers from Holland who invented the Gradall in Ohio in 1940? Many folks may not realize that the Gradall, an all-American design, was probably the world's first hydraulic excavator.

For this reason alone, the Ferwerdas belong on AEM's list. If you don't believe me, you can read all about them in a new history of the Gradall, which provides a lengthy account of how this machine came to be.

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Can you think of more machinery mavens who deserve recognition? Check the current list, or submit a nomination by filling out AEM's online application

There is no fee to toss in a name, but you need to act quick. Submissions are due July 18.