Minneapolis-Moline was a large tractor and machinery producer based in Minnesota. It was the product of a merger between three companies in 1929: Minneapolis Steel & Machinery (MSM), Minneapolis Threshing Machine, and Moline Plow. It was headquartered in Hopkins, MN and had plants on Lake Street at Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis, in Hopkins, and Moline, IL.
MSM, the largest of the merged companies, was a leader in the anti-labor union, open-shop, movement. It was a member of the Citizen's Alliance (CA), a powerful Minneapolis business league that kept the city largely union free for over 20 years. During World War I, the unions agreed to not strike to aid the war effort, in exchange the National War Labor Board ordered wage hikes for workers. MSM refused, starting a court battle that would not be fully resolved until the 1940s.
Minneapolis-Moline inherited MSM's CA membership and attitude. However, it signed a contract with the AFL Machinists Union in 1935, during the Flour City Ornamental Iron strike and after the 1934 Teamster's Strikes, both of which were notable for their violence. This was a notable defection that foreshadowed the collapse of the open-shop movement in Minneapolis. However, this did not mean peaceful labor relations in the years to come. After World War II, the company would have to deal with strikes and pension disputes.
1963 acquisition by White
It was acquired by the White Motor Company in 1963 and the brand name was dropped in 1974. AGCO purchased White in 1991. The Hopkins headquarters site has been redeveloped, and is now the location for a Honda automobile dealership.
Minneapolis-Moline pioneered the concept of the closed-cab farm tractor by developing the UDLX (the model name stood for U Deluxe) Comfortractor for North America in 1938. The UDLX was equipped with automotive features such as an electric starter and a dashboard with a speedometer, plus several firsts in a tractor, including a heater, a cigarette lighter, windshield wipers, and a radio. Despite poor sales due to its high cost (double that of a Farmall or Deere), UDLX was part of one of Minneapolis-Moline's most popular series. The U series saw a number of variants, including the UTU, UTS, UTL, UDU, UDU, UOPL, UB, UTIL, and UT.
In the early 1950s M-M introduced the Uni-Tractor which was a three wheeled powered unit used to drive other units. The concept was instead of having different tractors and harvesters, one power unit mated to the correct unit could do all the jobs a farmer needed—i.e. of as M-M sales stated "All-in-One". While it was sold in small numbers the concept never was popular with most farmers. Many farmers referred to the Uni-Tractor as the Minneapolis-Moline Motorcycle.
The M series was introduced in 1960 with the M-5, followed by the M-504 in 1962, the M-602 and M-604 (4WD) in 1963, and finally the M-670 in 1964. The M series ended production in 1970.
The six-cylinder G series comprises the largest and most powerful Minneapolis-Moline tractors. Production started in 1959 with the G-VI, followed by the G-704 in 1962. Models that followed were the G-705, G-706, G-707, G-708, G-1000, G-900, G-1000 Vista, G-950, G-1050 and the G-1350. The G-1355 was introduced 1972 and was the most powerful Minneapolis-Moline tractor ever built with 142 PTO HP. The G-955 was manufactured between 1973 and 1974 and was the last tractor manufactured under the Minneapolis-Moline name, as White ceased using the brand name in 1974.
In the early 1970s, White also sold four Oliver models rebranded as Minneapolis-Moline: the Oliver 1555 was sold as the G-550, the Oliver 1655 was sold as the G-750, the Oliver 1755 was sold as the G-850 and the Oliver 1855 was sold as the G-940. These tractors had 53, 70, 86, and 92 PTO horsepower, respectively.
In 1971, White sold two diesel imports made by Fiat as Minneapolis-Moline: the MM G-350 (41 PTO horsepower, 3-cylinder) and the MM G-450 (54 PTO horsepower, 4-cylinder). The G-350 was also sold as the Oliver 1265 and the Cockshutt 1265; the G-450 was sold as the Oliver 1365 and the Cockshutt 1365.
1938 Model U deluxe in Saskatoon museum
- WDM display card.
- WDM display card.
- WDM display card.
- Strohl, Daniel - 1938 Farm On! Hemmings Motor News / Hemmings Classic Car, April 2005
- "All-in-One Harvester Carries Implements Piggyback" Popular Mechanics, August 1953, pp. 82-84.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Minneapolis-Moline tractors.|
- The Minneapolis Moline Company Records are available for research use at the Minnesota Historical Society
- A large collection of Minneapolis-Moline equipment photographs taken by Arthur Jensen are available for research use at the Minnesota Historical Society.