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.

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