Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.
At first, the new company built only threshing machines but sold steam traction engines built by Huber Manufacturing Company, Marion Ohio. In 1891, Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company entered the traction engine business by building 150 Minneapolis steam engines, using the patented Woolf valve gear. McDonald foresaw the coming challenge of gasoline tractors already in 1897 when he suggested that the company start building gasoline tractors designed by Otto Gas Engine works. Nothing came of the idea, and in 1899, In 1910, MTM built over 400 steam tractions, followed by 162 in 1911, and 90 in 1912. Clearly, the gasoline tractor was capturing the market. A deal was made in 1911 to begin selling the 20-horsepower “Universal” tractor built by Universal Tractor Company, Stillwater, Minnesota. At the same time, MTM made a contract with Walter j. McVicker to design a tractor. A contract was then made with Northwest Thresher Company at Stillwater to build 25 tractors. For 1912, MTM ordered 48 more tractors of the same cross mount design. Jack Junkins, the Chief Engineer for MTM, smoothed up the design on the 1912 models. A 40-80 size was added in late 1912. During the next few years, various tractor models were produced, although MTM never built a production row-crop model.
The Fond du Lac Threshing Machine Company was organized in 1874 at Fond du Lac Wisconsin. By 1876, the company failed and was reorganized as the McDonald Manufacturing Company. John S. McDonald had invested heavily in the venture and reorganized the firm to protect his investment. One of McDonald’s first moves was to bring out the “Pride of the West” threshing machine. This was replaced in the mid-1800s by the “Victory” vibrator separator. In 1887, McDonald left Fond du Lac and moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he organized the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company. McDonald lost control of the company to F. E. Kenaston who assumed the presidency until 1920. The plant of John A. Abell Engine & Machine Works, Ltd. at Toronto, Ontario was acquired in 1902, thus putting Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company (MTM). into the booming Canadian market. Advance Thresher Company, Battle Creek, Michigan joined in the American-Abell venture. The operation was not a total success, and when M. Rumely Company took over Advance in 1911, MTM withdrew from the Abell operation. By some clever dealings, MTM shed themselves of a subsidiary that hadn’t been doing too well anyway. Walter J. McVicker left Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company (builders of the Twin City line) about 1918 and joined the MTM organization. About this time great interest was shown in prairie-type combines McVicker and C. C. Cavanaugh designed such a machine for MTM, and it was first marketed in 1925. On April 18, 1929, Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Company assumed control of Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company, Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company, and Moline Plow Company.