Batavia, IL

41.843335, -88.302199

Fermilab, originally named the National Accelerator Laboratory, was commissioned by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, under a bill signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on November 21, 1967. Founding Director Robert R. Wilson committed the laboratory to firm principles of scientific excellence, aesthetic beauty, stewardship of the land, fiscal responsibility and equality of opportunity. Universities Research Association built the laboratory, and has operated the facility under those principles since its founding.
On May 11, 1974, the laboratory was renamed in honor of 1938 Nobel Prize winner Enrico Fermi, one of the preeminent physicists of the atomic age. Fermi's widow, Laura Fermi, spoke at the dedication ceremonies.

Two major components of the Standard Model of Fundamental Particles and Forces were discovered at Fermilab: the bottom quark (May-June 1977) and the top quark (February 1995). In July 2000, Fermilab experimenters announced the first direct observation of the tau neutrino, the last fundamental particle to be observed. Filling the final slot in the Standard Model, the tau neutrino set the stage for new discoveries and new physics with the inauguration of Collider Run II of the Tevatron in March 2001.

The Tevatron, four miles in circumference and originally named the Energy Doubler when it began operation in 1983, is the world's highest-energy particle accelerator. Its 1,000 superconducting magnets are cooled by liquid helium to -268 degrees C (-450 degrees F). Its low-temperature cooling system was the largest ever built when it was placed in operation in 1983. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has designated the Tevatron cryogenic system an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.

Fermilab has added the two-mile Main Injector accelerator to increase the number of proton-antiproton collisions in the Tevatron, greatly enhancing the chances for important discoveries in Run II. The two apartment building-sized collider detectors, CDF and DZero, have undergone extensive upgrades during the nearly decade-long preparations for Run II.

Fermilab's 6,800-acre site was originally home to farmland, and to the village of Weston. Some of the original barns are still in use by the laboratory, for purposes ranging from storage to social events. A small burial ground, with headstones dating back to 1839, has been maintained in the northwest corner of the site. Robert Wilson was buried in the Pioneer Cemetery following his death on January 16, 2000 at the age of 85.

Among Wilson's early imprints on the lab was the establishment of a herd of American bison, symbolizing the Fermilab's presence on the frontiers of high-energy physics, and the connection to its prairie origins. The herd stands today, and new calves are born every spring.

Great American Popcorn Company

Galena, IL

42.414321, -90.43038

It's just a small manufacturing operation but worth the stop to see and smell the chocolate, cheese and caramel-flavored popcorn in wooden barrels at the Great American Popcorn Company in Galena, Illinois. You'll get a short tour that includes information on the history of popcorn and what makes it pop, then you'll see how flavored popcorn is made from the cookers to the coaters.

Be sure to call ahead so the owner, Dave Lewis, can have a fresh batch of caramel corn ready to come out when you arrive. And, of course, you get to taste the treat while it's still warm!

The company produces more than 150 flavors of popcorn and has about 25 to 30 flavors available in its retail store. The tour is free, but you must call ahead. Plan to visit sometime after 11 A.M. so the popcorn making is in full swing.

John Deere Harvester Works

East Moline, IL

41.524871, -90.440537

Factory Facts
John Deere Harvester Works is the largest, most modern combine manufacturing facility in the world. Located in East Moline, Illinois, it is approximately 90 acres under roof (that's nearly 4 million square feet) and has produced products since 1913.

How We Build Your Combine
A majority of your combine components start as a roll of steel. Each roll weighs 10-to 20-tons, is 4-to 6-feet wide, and comes in thickness up to 1/4-inch. Steel is fed into a machine which cuts it to various lengths, then flattens it. The flat steel is sent to different stations to be made into smaller parts.

Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines, capable of holding 37 unique punches in a large wheel, are used to create various combinations of parts. Harvester Works also uses lasers that cut at rates of up to 400-inches per minute. Presses are used for larger sheet metal forming and can apply 400-to 1000-tons of pressure.

120,000 Square Feet of Paint Technology
Parts at John Deere Harvester are immersed 10 times during the pre-paint process. Each of the 10 stages contains approximately 50,000 gallons of continuously circulated liquid that may reach temperatures of 150 degrees F.

After the pre-treatment process, a coat of paint (0.8-1.0-mil) is applied and baked for 68 minutes at 275 degrees F. The three-stage electrocoat process is capable of operating at 600 volts and 2000 degrees. At this stage of the paint process, four Fanuc P200 robots capable of painting 39-inches per second apply a final topcoat. Under normal conditions, a part is involved in the paint process for approximately 5 hours from start to finish.

Assembly of Your Combine
14 miles of automated track comes together to form the main Harvester Works building. Here, the sub-assemblies of your combine include:

Body (separator cleaning shoe)
Feeder house
Grain tank

Purchased parts such as engines, radiators, and fuel tanks arrive Just In Time (JIT) at loading docks near their final point of use. Parts arrive from all over the United States and from sister factories all over the world. These major sub-assemblies come together on the "main line" to be assembled into your finished combine.

Delivery Process
After the combine is completely assembled, it is pre-delivered by an independent company that inspects the combine from front to back for proper fluids, torques, and tensions in key areas. This same company helps provide customer support during the summer harvest.

John Deere Pavilion

Moline, IL

41.507524, -90.519011

In 1848, John Deere changed the course of local history in Moline Illinois by locating his first plow manufacturing plant on the banks of the Mississippi River. With this factory, John Deere's dream of producing a superior self-scouring plow for the western frontier became a reality. Across the country, farmers used his plow to till the land and they forever changed the shape of agriculture. The rest, as they say, is history: a history that is preserved at the John Deere Pavilion.

The John Deere Pavilion was created as a celebration of the past, present and future of agribusiness. It has attracted guests from all corners of the globe and is recognized as the world's most comprehensive agricultural exhibit.

Almost overnight, the John Deere Pavilion became the Quad Cities most popular tourist attraction and one of the top five attractions in the state of Illinois. When you visit downtown Moline and see the Pavilion for yourself, you'll understand why!

It's part of an entire experience that begins with the legend of John Deere. But beyond that, this revitalized urban area offers some of the most unique shopping opportunities, fine dining, entertainment and family fun that can't be beat. Not to mention, you'll be surrounded by some of the Midwest's friendliest folks!

Long Grove Confectionery Co.

Buffalo Grove, IL

42.158583, -87.942447

Locally owned and operated in the USA. Gourmet Chocolates Wholesale. We offer factory tours to the public via appointment for groups of 10 or more or you can possibly join a pre existing group. Tour is at our production factilty.