Minneapolis-Moline More Than Just Tractors
MM fan makes collection of Minneapolis-Moline memorabilia
Dan Shima with his MM calendar collection. His oldest calendar – dates 1899 – is issued by the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company
Dan Shima is sold on Minneapolis-Moline. For many years, Dan (who lives in Eldridge, Iowa) has loved MM tractors and memorabilia. While he's been an avid MM fan since childhood, not until 1975 – when he attended his first antique tractor pull – did he really start collecting tractors again.
One tractor that has always been a sentimental part of his collection is the RTU that Dan's father bought new in 1940. Dan was just 4 that year, but he took a spin behind the wheel of the RTU, which was attached to a hay loader. The following summer, Dan's older brother came down with the measles, and 5-year-old Dan drove the RTU on the oat binder, helping harvest the crop.
Besides the RTU, Dan also owns an experimental tractor -- the YT - one of only about 30 made. His collection also includes one of the most beautiful tractors ever made: the UDLX, better known as "The Comfort Tractor." He has two, including the last one ever built.
Dan's hobby ran into a glitch when he started running out of shed room. He hasn't quit adding new tractors to his collection, but he has shifted his focus to include less bulky items such as literature and memorabilia.
Among his prizes are calendars (see related story, Every Picture Tells A Story). He has MM wall calendars from 1934, 1937, 1943, 1945-48, and 1951-57. Minneapolis-Moline also made yearbook calendars from 1930-1958: he has a complete volume of those, which he often displays at shows.
Last summer's search for new additions to his collection proved fruitful.
"I haven't been out scouting or looking," Dan says, "but by chance I ran across the first issue, which was restarted in 1938 and was called The MM Dealer then."