Minneapolis Moline and “The Moline”

Across the street from what was once the Minneapolis Moline Hopkins plant, developers are erecting a new Moline in the form of luxury apartments.

The Minneapolis Moline Power Implement Company started in 1929, a merger between the Moline Plow
Co. (est. 1852), Minneapolis Threshing Co. (est. 1887), and the Minneapolis Steel and Threshing Co. (est.
1902). The company, which began

in south Minneapolis, near Lake St. and Minnehaha Ave.,  manufactured a variety of farm equipment including tractors, combines, threshing machines,
tools, shellers, harvesters, manure spreaders, and so on. They played a large role globally, leading technological innovation and
production for farm equipment on an international scale. The company especially prospered during the
1930s-1940s, and became one of the largest farm equipment manufacturers in the world.

At the outbreak of World War II, Minneapolis Moline also took a major role in the war effort. In 1940,
the company created the “Jeep,” which saw significant use by the U.S. Army. During the same year, the
company opened a new factory in Hopkins, Minnesota, on Excelsior Blvd., and manufactured massive amounts of munitions
and military equipment to both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy., which continued through the duration of
the war.

Minneapolis Moline continued to do well into the 1950s, especially with the creation of a number of
highly popular harvester machines. Despite this success, however, the profitability and demand for mass
produced farm equipment began to wane into the l960s. In 1962, the White Motor Company of Lansing,
Michigan merged with Minneapolis Moline, and set an agenda of manufacturing trucks instead of farm
equipment. Much of the manufacturing capital of the company became obsolete or unneeded with this
move, and the White Motor Company failed to find subtenants to fill this void. This brought sudden
decline to the company as a whole. In 1972, the Minneapolis plant closed and the following year torn
down, ending the Minneapolis Moline legacy.

That legacy will now live on in the form of “The Moline,” a 241-unit luxury apartment building, set to be completed in 2017.


Visit the James K. Hosmer Special Collections to view the Minneapolis Moline archival collection which includes photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and trade catalogs.


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