In the 1950s, Louis and Cyril Keller operated Keller Welding and Repair near Rothsay, Minnesota. In 1956 Eddie Velo, a turkey farmer from the area, described to the Kellers a need for a machine small enough to maneuver inside a pole barn and light enough to operate on its upper level. The brothers worked out[when?] a small, three-wheeled design with a belt-driven transmission and delivered it to Velo on February 4, 1957. Velo allowed the Kellers full access to his operations. After the Kellers learned of drawbacks to the belt-driven transmission, they developed and patented a clutch-based transmission system in 1958 which was more robust. The new transmission became the basis of the Melroe M60 loader. Their uncle, an equipment dealer for the Melroe Manufacturing Company based in Gwinner, ND, advocated for Melroe to market the machines, resulting in Melroe inviting the Kellers to exhibit at the 1958 Minnesota State Fair. Melroe introduced the four-wheeled M400 model "Skid-Steer Loader" in 1960 and began using "Bobcat" as a trade name for such products in 1962 on the 440-model loader. Les Melroe and advertising agent Lynn Bickett settled on the "Bobcat" name while exchanging name ideas during a drive between Minneapolis and Gwinner. Bickett and Sylvan Melroe developed the "tough, quick, and agile" slogan used in advertising the early loaders.
^Hermann Simon mentioned this company in his correspondent Book as an example of a "Hidden Champion" (Simon, Hermann: Hidden Champions of the 21st Century : Success Strategies of unknown World Market Leaders. London: Springer, 2009.- ISBN 978-0-387-98147-5.)