Story of the family business whose gears are inside the Mars rovers

Forest City Gear is a family business that was founded in 1955 in Roscoe, Illinois. The gears they make are now on Mars, inside the Curiosity, Spirit, and Opportunity rovers. Our City, Our Story tells the Forest City Gear story.


  1. Thank you for sharing this!  I really think that precision manufacturing could (should, even) be the future for American production companies.  Seeing stuff like this makes me smile…

  2. The process is pretty simple, great machines and great testing equipment.  Of course none of that means much without a great culture and Fred always put that first.  I worked there 16 years ago for a summer and I still marvel at how well he could get completely different personalities and temperaments (if you’ve been in a gear/machinists shop – you know it ain’t easy) together to work for the best product on the market.  
    For many years after I really REALLY wanted to beg entry back into the shop and record all the sounds on the floor for some kind of mix – the chorus would be Fred saying, “AGMA Class 12”. His enthusiasm when he said it was genuine – he really believed in awesome. Seems he still does.

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