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MINNEAPOLIS - MOLINE NEON SIGN

Updated: May 27


Minneapolis - Moline Power & Machinery Neon Sign

Porcelain Neon Sign

Restoration project:

New neon, cleaned, new power supply.

Amber / Orange and Clear Red Neon.


The History of Minneapolis-Moline Power & Machinery: A Legacy of Innovation and Strength


Minneapolis-Moline Power & Machinery Company was a prominent American manufacturer of agricultural and industrial machinery, known for its innovative and durable products. The company emerged from the consolidation of three major companies in the early 20th century and played a significant role in mechanizing agriculture across the United States and beyond.


Origins and Formation


The roots of Minneapolis-Moline trace back to the late 19th century, with the formation of three distinct companies:

  1. Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company (MTM) - Founded in 1887 in Hopkins, Minnesota, MTM specialized in the production of threshing machines, steam engines, and other agricultural equipment.

  2. Moline Plow Company - Established in 1870 in Moline, Illinois, this company focused on manufacturing plows, planters, and other farm implements.

  3. Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company (MS&M) - Formed in 1902 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, MS&M produced tractors, threshers, and other heavy machinery.


In 1929, these three companies merged to form the Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Company, later renamed Minneapolis-Moline Power & Machinery Company. The merger combined their strengths and expertise, positioning the new company as a leading manufacturer of comprehensive agricultural solutions.


Growth and Innovation


During the 1930s and 1940s, Minneapolis-Moline became known for its innovative engineering and reliable products. The company's tractors, in particular, gained a reputation for their robustness and efficiency. Key models from this era included:

  • Universal U Tractor: Introduced in 1929, the Universal U was one of the first tractors to feature a power take-off (PTO), allowing it to power various implements.

  • Model Z Tractor: Launched in the 1930s, the Model Z was celebrated for its versatility and durability, becoming a favorite among farmers.


Minneapolis-Moline was also a pioneer in the development of the four-wheel-drive tractor. The Model G, introduced in 1938, was one of the first commercially successful four-wheel-drive tractors, offering increased traction and power for challenging farming conditions.


World War II and Post-War Expansion


During World War II, Minneapolis-Moline contributed to the war effort by producing military machinery, including tanks and other vehicles. After the war, the company resumed its focus on agricultural equipment, expanding its product line to meet the needs of a rapidly modernizing agricultural sector.


In the post-war years, Minneapolis-Moline continued to innovate with the introduction of new technologies and designs. The Jet Star series, launched in the 1950s, featured advanced hydraulic systems and improved comfort for operators. The company's commitment to innovation and quality helped it maintain a strong presence in the competitive agricultural machinery market.


Merger and Legacy


In 1963, Minneapolis-Moline merged with the White Motor Corporation, a move that integrated it into a larger conglomerate of agricultural and industrial machinery manufacturers. Despite this merger, the Minneapolis-Moline brand continued to be recognized for its high-quality tractors and equipment.


However, the agricultural machinery industry faced significant challenges in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to further consolidations. In 1974, White Motor Corporation was acquired by AGCO Corporation, which ultimately discontinued the Minneapolis-Moline brand in the 1980s.


Legacy


The legacy of Minneapolis-Moline endures in the agricultural machinery that continues to be used and appreciated by collectors and enthusiasts. The company's commitment to innovation, quality, and durability left a lasting impact on the industry. Minneapolis-Moline tractors and equipment are still celebrated for their historical significance and their role in advancing agricultural technology.


Today, vintage Minneapolis-Moline machinery is a testament to the company's contributions to the mechanization of agriculture, embodying a rich heritage of American ingenuity and industrial strength.

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