Birth of Minneapolis-Moline Co.

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Photo by Loretta Sorensen
A Minneapolis-Moline pedal car on display at the August 2013 show.

The Moline Plow Co. traces its roots to Moline, Ill., where W. Candee and Robert K. Swan formed a partnership in 1852. The company built fanning mills used to clean grain. By 1865, the young company — Candee, Swan & Co. — had begun producing plows.

The addition of two partners (Andrew Friberg, most recently of Deere & Co., and Stillman W. Wheelock) gave the company badly needed momentum. Wheelock alone contributed capital of $75,000. The company was renamed Moline Plow Co.

Moline Plow Co.’s broad range of implements and equipment made the company a strong contender. Moline’s Flying Dutchman sulky plow (1884) was a market leader followed by the equally successful Moline Champion corn planter (1886).

Though the company continued its involvement in implement manufacture, it was quick to recognize the wave of the future. Moline Plow bought the rights to Universal Tractor Co.’s motor cultivator in 1915. Moline redesigned the unit and put it into production in 1919, ceasing production in 1923.

Six years later, in 1929, Moline Plow Co. merged with Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. and Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. to form Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Co. The tractor line’s trademark Prairie Gold color was launched in 1937. Minneapolis-Moline produced a full line of machinery until 1963, when White Motor Co. bought the company. FC

Read more about Minneapolis-Moline in Minneapolis-Moline Prairie Gold Rush Convention.

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