This is How We Ship 'Em! Minneapolis Threshing Machines

Iron Age Ads: A page out of threshing machine history from the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.

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In business for more than 50 years when this ad was published in December 1927 in The American Thresherman, the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. was a titan among manufacturers of threshing machines – and acted like it.

"Read up on the Minneapolis 28×46," this ad crows, "the machine which everybody says comes close to being perfect." The ad's text is unusually snappy and confident, particularly in a staid, conservative industry. The 17-30 tractor "butters the bread on both sides because of its ability to do a big day's work," the ad notes.

The Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. was established in 1874 in Fond du Lac, Wis., as the Fond du Lac Threshing Machine Co. The company added traction engines to the line in 1891 and by 1897, as C.H. Wendel notes in Farm Tractors 1890-1980, began experimenting with gasoline engines as a power source for tractors.

In what had to be a thrilling sight, this ad shows rail cars bearing threshers fading into infinity. In today's tightly managed economy, such huge shipments are unheard of. But in 1927, it is easy to imagine a sight such as this generating a heady sense of the rapidly growing industrialization that seemed capable of conquering the world.

Just two years later, in 1929, the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. acknowledged strength in numbers, and joined with Moline Plow Co. and Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. to form the Minneapolis-Moline Co. That legacy folded into history with the acquisition of Minneapolis-Moline by White Farm Equipment Co. in 1963. FC 

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