Minneapolis Moline Collectors News and Information - Educational Articles

Coloring Contest 2016

February 5, 2016 - 2:05 PM

It's time to think about the MMCI Coloring Contest: We encourage club members to sponsor entrants for the coloring contest as a way to bring generations together and to educate our youth about the Minneapolis-Moline Companies. Take time to sit with the youth and tell them about the photo, the colors of the implements and get them interested in our history. We hope to encourage the next generation to have an interest in the Collectors Club and our M-M heritage!

The colored pages must be sponsored by a current club member and be postmarked no later than March 10, 2016 (before the Wiinter Convention). Be sure to READ the contest rules. Go here to find the information you need. And good luck to all!!

Update on the R Cab Project

September 14, 2015 - 8:10 PM

Butch Fuder and Rex Mercer have an interesting update on the R Cab Project they started a couple of years ago! Go to the PDF report:

MM Experimental Equipment

July 28, 2015 - 9:58 AM

Check out the MM experimental equipment photo album Rick Laleman added to our Photo Page. Scroll to the Other Categories. Thanks Rick!!!

Floyd County Museum displays Minneapolis RTU

May 1, 2015 - 10:05 AM

On the main floor of the Floyd County Museum you will see a Minneapolis Moline RTU on loan from Lorin and Mary Brass from Lennox, South Dakota. The slide show shows the process of getting the R inside the museum! Three display cases of MM memorabilia are also new additions to the museum in a joint effort to give Minneapolis Moline a stronger presence and to let visitors know that many MM historial records, build cards, manuals and other items are also housed there.

Loren Book documented the event in the following article and describes how it all happened.

March 31, 2015 marks a special day for Minneapolis-Moline collectors. A real life tractor was delivered to the Floyd County Historical Museum in Charles City, Iowa. We all know that there are numberous artifacts, historical records, build cards, manuals and other records housed in the museum, but there was nothing to indicate that they were there. Last fall several of the MMCI committee met with some of the FCHS Museum board members and the discussion was how could MMCI work with them in the future. A very legitimate question was asked, "When someone walks into the museum, what is there to indicate that all this information is housed in the museum?" The FCHS board members agreed something was needed. We now have the presence!

On the main floor (overlooking the door to the Oliver tractor display downstairs) there is now a Minneapolis-Moline RTU. The tractor is on loan from Lorin and Mary Brass from Lennox, South Dakota. There are also three display cases of MM memorabilia. The first case has the Darlene Swartzrock collection, courtesy of Harold Swartzrock, with numberous sales aids published by the MM Company over the years.

The second case has memorabilia supplied by Loren and Ruth Book from Nevada, Iowa. The third case has memorabilia supplied by Dave Elofson and Lloyd and Linda Rave from the Siouxland Collectors Club of South Dakota. Two of the display cases were built by Alan Thompson and donated by the MMCI. The third case was built and donated by Lloyd and Linda Rave. Thank you!

The tractor story of how it go to the first floor is interesting indeed. The door leading to the main room has a door measuring 66 inches. Knowing that we wanted a tractor, we began measuring and did not find one that would fit through the door. The RTU was a small tractor with an axel length of 81 inches, still way too wide to roll onto the floor. It was the combined ingenuity of Phillip Fett, Lorin Brass, and Lloyd Rave that came up with a one of a kind caster-wheeled dolly to sit under the rear of the tractor. Then the rear wheels were removed and the tractor was snaked down the hallway and around the doorway to allow entry to the main floor -- with an inch to spare. Thank you to Lloyd Rave, Lorin Brass, Dave Elofson, and Dick Burns for helping to move the tractor into the museum.

As the displays were being set up, a visitor to the museum, Dean Risen, showed an interest and while talking to him we discovered that he had worked at the Charles City plant from 1962 to 1992. He was very happy to talk to us about some of this experiences with the Minneapolis-Moline's last tractors built in Charles City. He now knows that MM information is available.

The tractor and displays are on loan for a period of time agreed upon by the Museum staff and the individuals. Our plan is to have this be a revolving exhibit so that many displays can be showcased over the years. The displays need to be educational and have signage to tell their story. There is one display case still available: if you have and would be willing to show your items, please contact Loren Book.

Video of the NT Clone Project

August 19, 2014 - 9:15 AM
See a video produced by Jeff Laleman of their NT Experimental Tractor https://www.youtube.com/user/mmcollectorsclub

1943 MM Experimental Tractor-NT Clone

August 19, 2014 - 9:06 AM

Jeff and Sandy Laleman from Rock Falls, IL, brought their 1943 NT "Clone" to the MMCI Summer Show in Montevideo, MN. The tractor is a replica of the experimental NT that was demonstrated at the Minneapolis-Moline Experimental Farm their family operated in the 1940s. They have pictures of the tractor working at the farm in September of 1943 and were told the tractor was probably destroyed.

Recently Loren Book, Nevada, IA, gave them photos of the tractor when it was at the Hopkins Minnesota Assembly Plant. Using the "up close" photos, they were able to put together a clone of the missing tractor. The more powerful NT was to replace the ZT, but the Z remained in production until 1955.

The engine is a model of which was used in the military NT X "Jeep," thus the name NT. The sheet metal resembles the model U. This was done to keep cost down. The tractor came up with the MM Patented throttle clutch that was never used on any other production model.

Jeff says, "We did our best to build a replica as close as we could. And we are still hopeful the original NT is out there. We could not have done such a project without the help of the following people: Loren Book, Bill Ellis, Rob Ohda, John DeReu, Ron DePauw, Wilbert Kerchner, and Rick Laleman."

See a video of the NT Clone on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/mmcollectorsclub

The MM Buddy Lee

January 3, 2014 - 6:57 PM

Some long time collectors and MMCI members might remember when the MM Buddy Lee Reunion took place in Arkansas, over 14 years ago. Our first slideshow of 2014 features Buddy Lee; we wonder how many MM Buddy Lee "salesmen" still live on? Send us a note or better yet, a photo. Read about the first reunion in 1999.

2013 Scholarship Winner

September 10, 2013 - 5:22 PM
Congratulations to the 2013 winner: Go to our Projects page and see who won the 2013 MMCI scholarship. Be sure to read the information to find out how your daughter, son, or grandchild can apply for a scholarship.

Get Involved in Preserving Company Info

September 27, 2010 - 6:24 PM

MMCI and HPOCA Joint Preservation Project

MM enthusiasts have found that scanning parts drawings is an easy task and something anyone can learn to do. Plan a visit to Charles City to help with this project. Museum director Mary Ann Townsend will show you what to do. And as an added benefit, the Sleep Inn will give a special discount to those volunteers working on the Floyd County Preservation Project. Read about the project beginnings below.

Update from Loren Book: The Minneapolis-Moline Collectors Club (MMCI) is working as an equal partner with the Hart Parr Oliver Collectors (HPOCA) to preserve information of both companies, which remained after they were bought out by White and then Agco. The two clubs have jointly purchased a quality film reader to transfer the parts drawings to computer; this will make the drawings accessible to future generations.

At the Winter Convention in Clarinda, Mike Verhulst, Phillip Fett, and I handed out numerous cards with contact information for Mary Ann Townsend, the museum director. Mary Ann is overseeing the scheduling of volunteers coming to Charles City for a day, or hopefully, two or three days.

The process as shown in the photos is very user friendly and the staff can have you working in a short time. There have been 1000 cards recorded to date; we have approximately 49,000 MM cards to go.Loren Book and Arlin Wente processing first cardsLoren Book and Arlin Wente processing some of the first cards.

Mike Verhulst and Mary Ann Townsend view scanned filesMike Verhulst and Mary Ann Townsend looking at first aperture card processed.

We are hoping to complete the process in two years. I do not want to create a contest, but I know that the MMCI membership can do more cards sooner and faster than the HPOCA! On a good day, we estimate a team of two can record 300 cards.

Files of aperture cards to be processedWe need lots of volunteers to process all of these cards.

My challenge (and plea) to you would be to call Mary Ann at 641-228-1099 and schedule a time convenient for you to go to the Floyd County Museum at Charles City, Iowa to help preserve this valuable Minneapolis-Moline information.

Preserve MM History

August 4, 2010 - 7:14 AM
Volunteers Needed! MMCI has an incredible opportunity to preserve MM history at the Floyd County Museum in Charles City, IA. Call Mary Townsend, Museum Director 641-228-1099. Read more about it on the posting below about the Preservation Project. Call today!!!!! Your efforts can make a difference in preserving and providing valuable information to the public. Thank you! http://www.floydcountymuseum.org/

Twin City Tractors

January 24, 2010 - 12:43 AM
Questions about Twin City tractors? Visit this new website: twincitytractors.tripod.com/index.htm

Update on MM Information at Floyd County

August 12, 2009 - 8:10 PM

Mike Verhulst provides an update on the MM historical documents for preservation at the Floyd County Historical Society in Charles City, Iowa. Read the the update under Resources tab in Educational Articles.

Floyd County Museum Project

August 12, 2009 - 8:06 PM

PLEASE NOTE: To receive information about your tractor, you must contact the Floyd County Historical Society directly. The MMCI cannot provide that information. We simply point you to the resource. Call 641-228-1099, or emailfchs@fiai.net, or go to www.floydcountymuseum.org.  They are located in Charles City, IA.

Preservation of Minneapolis-Moline Information at the Floyd County Historical Society in Charles City, Iowa

by Mike Verhulst

A large number of Minneapolis-Moline historical documents were moved from Minneapolis and Hopkins in the 1970's. Many were left in Charles City when Allied took over WFE in the 1980's. These ended up at the Floyd County Historical society. MMCI has been working with the FCHS since 2004 to identify and preserve this information.

This information includes:

1. Operator's, Repair and Service manuals
2. Serial Number Ledger Books for 1956-1972
3. Service Bulletins
4. Part Drawings on Aperture Cards
5. Large Layout Drawings
6. Literature and Miscellaneous Office Files

The FCHS has been providing copies of manuals for a number of years and it is one of the main sources of income. A list of all of the manuals that are available is on the MMCI website. There is also a list of the Service Bulletins that FCHS can provide copies of on request.

The 24 serial number books contain the records of when each tractor was built, its engine serial number and the various options it was built with by code number. Since there was not a master list of descriptions for the codes, it was necessary to determine what these code numbers were. MMCI worked to collect price book pages for all of the tractors which list the code numbers and there description. This is now fairly complete with a few exceptions. Today you can obtain the history of your tractor by providing your serial number to the FCHS. They will provide a copy from the ledger book that shoes when your tractor was built, it's engine serial number and the option codes. They will also provide a copy of the price pages for that model so you can find the description for the various ordering codes. The cost for this service is $20.

The Minneapolis-Moline history is old and deteriorating. The MMCI board felt it was important to preserve this information and authorized a committee to work with FCHS to make this happen. Committee members are Loren Book, Phillip Fett, and Mike Verhulst. A signed working agreement with FCHS has been developed. FCHS is going to partition part of the basement to store MM records.

After consultation with computer experts software was leased by MMCI to scan the ledgers sheets to a CD disk while a copy is being made on FCHS copier. At this time all 24 tractor books (4000 pages) have been scanned and copied.

See the NOTE at the top of this article for contact information to reach the Historical Society.

MM Tractors Sent to Sweden in 1930s

March 23, 2009 - 8:26 PM
by Svante Nylander

Stockholm, Sweden 2009-01-18

This story begins in the mid 30s when a company named Anders Fischer AB was an authorized seller for Westeråsmaskiner AB, one of Sweden's biggest manufactures for agriculture machines with worldwide sales. At that time they realized that it was time for the farmers to go from horse to tractor and they searched for a known agency and the choice fell on MM.

At that time there were not many persons familiar with the English language in Sweden, so the head salesman Mr.Gösta Axelsson's knowledge in English became important; therefore, he was the man who had all the contacts with the MM Company.

Moline Z with wood-gas converter

There was a man named Mr.Mortimer who arrived to Sweden from MM to negotiate in the matter. The first tractors arrived 1937 and the last one 1939. The total number of imports was 125-175 units of models R and Z.

The tractors that arrived in Sweden were mostly used as pullers for all kinds of agricultural maschines, or as stationary engines for threshing mills.

After the beginning of World War 2 it was no longer possible to import anything from foreign countries by boat because the Germans torpedoed all the ships they could.

All the tractors were delivered from the U.S. in big wooden boxes and my father, K-E Nylander, was responsible for all the handling with the help of Mr Henry Pettersson (Mr.Pettersson is still alive and in a good health and has helped me with all the facts in this matter).

They picked up the boxes by truck from the harbor and assembled and adapted them for use in Sweden. All this work was done in temporary workshops and even in our garage at home.

Due to lack of petrol and kerosene during WW 2, the government set up a hard rationing for oil products. The only way to keep the tractors going was to adapt them for wood gas. There were existing aggregates for cars and trucks and with help from parts, my father and Mr. Axelsson constructed and put them up on the tractors.

Mr Pettersson remembers that they worked very well on wood gas, however there were a big risk of fire on the fields when they had to take out the ash and sweep the unit from soot. Likewise, the gas was dangerous, it contained a big part of carbonic oxide, so it was not possible to run and drive the engines inside the shop or garages.

The tractors that were imported during 37-39 were sold as new for a long time in the early 40s and they never imported any more tractors from the U.S. after the war. The next tractor brand they took up was the Dieselross tractor.

Editors note: Svante Nylander has written this little article after a translation of a memorandum from Mr.Henry Pettersson.

Preservation Grant Winner

March 22, 2009 - 7:32 PM
Joe Swanson Receives Grant Award

Joe Swanson of Geneco, IL received $1,000 Preservation Grant for restoring a U302. His restored tractor was exhibited at Sublette, in front of the MMCI headquarters. Mike Jahn, MMCI Director and Chairman of the Oral History Preservation Grants Committee presented the check to Joe.

U302 Tractor

Joe receives preservation grant check for his finished project