The World of Work: History of Work in Minnesota


One of the most remarkable stories of technological innovation in the history of Minnesota’s industrialization is that of the 3-M Company, founded at Two Harbors in 1902. After more than two decades of struggling to find their niche and moving to Duluth and then St. Paul, the company created a research and development capability that has placed their organization in the forefront of technological innovation, development and diversification. The appointment of twenty-four-year old William L. McKnight as head of production and sales in 1914 was a key step in that process.

Reviewing the history of the “world of work” in Minnesota clearly identifies its most consistent influence - the ever-with-us element of

c h a n g e .


Modern Technology


Manufacturing sandpaper

Manufacturing sandpaper, 3-M Company, ca. 1970

Minnesota Historical Society

Univac computers

Univac Computers, ca. 1968

Minnesota Historical Society

Miniaturization of the computer

During the brief history of computer development, computer
systems that originally filled a building, or at least a large
room, could be installed on a roll-around cart.

Anthro Corporation, Technology Furniture, Tualatin, OR


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