Brian McMahon The Ford Century in Minnesota

ISBN 13: 9780816637195

The Ford Century in Minnesota

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9780816637195: The Ford Century in Minnesota

In 1903, before the Ford Motor Company was even incorporated, Stephen Tenvoorde signed a contract to sell “Fordmobiles” at his bicycle shop in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Four generations later, the Tenvoorde family still operates what is now the oldest Ford dealership in the world. Brian McMahon chronicles how the fortunes of the company and the state became intertwined during that century.  

Ford assembled Model T cars in the world’s tallest automobile plant in Minneapolis and a three-story structure in St. Paul—both still standing. These factories quickly became functionally obsolete after the development of the moveable assembly line. The hunt for a new site to build a modern, single-story plant stirred intense rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Henry Ford took a rare personal interest in the search and selected a 125-acre parcel in St. Paul overlooking the recently built High Dam on the Mississippi River, which allowed for navigation and hydroelectric power. The Twin Cities Assembly Plant would go on to manufacture millions of cars, trucks, tractors, and military vehicles until its closure in 2011. 

Henry Ford’s large-scale experiments with every aspect of the industrial economy sent ripples and shockwaves through the lives of Minnesotans—management and assembly line workers, dealers and customers, families and communities. First-person accounts of more than forty retired auto workers share what it was like to work at Ford—from the early years of the Minneapolis plant to the final hours of the Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul. McMahon documents the company’s transformation—through the Depression, the rise of the United Auto Workers Union, World War II, women joining the workforce, competition from imported cars, globalization, outsourcing, and the closing of the plant. 

This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee. 

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About the Author:

Brian McMahon, a trained architect, has lectured and written extensively on industry, urban history and architecture, and has developed and designed several exhibits for museums and galleries in New York and Minnesota.

Review:

"Brian McMahon has done an outstanding job of showing how the top and bottom layers of the industrial hierarchy viewed reality—and how they saw and influenced each other."—Peter Rachleff, Macalester College

"The Ford Century in Minnesota tells the story of how Henry Ford's pioneering company arrived in the state and built its giant plant in St. Paul in the 1920s, how its workers became involved in the international organized labor movement, and how a variety of forces led to the plant's closure. Combining political, economic, social, and architectural history, this richly detailed, handsomely illustrated book will appeal to a wide range of readers."—Larry Millett, author of Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury



"A substantial literary gift."—St. Paul Pioneer Press

"The book will prove of considerable interest – and good reading – by and for automotive, enthusiasts, historians, journalists, as well as both Labor and Industry folks."—AutoInformed

"Solidly based on 18 years of research, this handsome, well-written and serious hardbound tome transcends the “local history” category."—Speedreaders.info

"[The Ford Century in Minnesota is] a comprehensive, interesting chronicle of Ford’s history in Minnesota, particularly in St. Paul."—Star Tribune

"A comprehensive, interesting chronicle of Ford’s history in Minnesota."—St. Cloud Times

"The Ford Century in Minnesota provides a rare glimpse into the mutually beneficial and extremely complicated relationship between Ford (the company and the man) and the people and industries of Minnesota."—Minnesota History

"The University of Minneapolis Press should be congratulated for the quality of The Ford Century in Minnesota."—Labour History

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Book Description University of Minnesota Press, United States, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1903, before the Ford Motor Company was even incorporated, Stephen Tenvoorde signed a contract to sell Fordmobilesat his bicycle shop in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Four generations later, the Tenvoorde family still operates what is now the oldest Ford dealership in the world. Brian McMahon chronicles how the fortunes of the company and the state became intertwined during that century. Ford assembled Model T cars in the worlds tallest automobile plant in Minneapolis and a three-story structure in St. Paul-both still standing. These factories quickly became functionally obsolete after the development of the moveable assembly line. The hunt for a new site to build a modern, single-story plant stirred intense rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Henry Ford took a rare personal interest in the search and selected a 125-acre parcel in St. Paul overlooking the recently built High Dam on the Mississippi River, which allowed for navigation and hydroelectric power. The Twin Cities Assembly Plant would go on to manufacture millions of cars, trucks, tractors, and military vehicles until its closure in 2011. Henry Fords large-scale experiments with every aspect of the industrial economy sent ripples and shockwaves through the lives of Minnesotans-management and assembly line workers, dealers and customers, families and communities. First-person accounts of more than forty retired auto workers share what it was like to work at Ford-from the early years of the Minneapolis plant to the final hours of the Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul. McMahon documents the companys transformation-through the Depression, the rise of the United Auto Workers Union, World War II, women joining the workforce, competition from imported cars, globalization, outsourcing, and the closing of the plant. This publication was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Any views, findings, opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota Historical Society, or the Minnesota Historic Resources Advisory Committee. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780816637195

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