The World of Work: History of Work in Minnesota


The reign of King Wheat accounted for Minnesota’s ascendancy in two farm-related businesses - milling and grain handling. Where wheat farmers and water power merged, a grinding mill usually sprang up. As early as 1880, Minneapolis had surpassed St. Louis as the nation’s leader in flour production; and Minnesota maintained its reputation as the world’s milling capital for fifty years - not only because of the abundance of spring wheat, but also because of revolutionary technology. The middlings purifier and the roller mill made possible “New  Process Flour”, and vastly improved production, uniformity and color. [MIACOC]

Flour Millers


Washburn-Crosby Mill

Interior of Washburn-Crosby Mill, 1920

Photo by Hibbard, Minnesota Historical Society

Lake freighter

Wheat being transferred from a grain elevator
to a lake freighter, at the Great Northern
elevator in Superior, WI.

Minnesota Historical Society


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