Minnesota, United States of America (State) 1911 Profile, #07: Manufactures and Commerce


The extraordinary numbers of utilizable water-powers, the unusual transport facilities affording ample means of reaching the great markets, and finally the proximity to the raw materials of manufacture, have made Minnesota of great importance as a manufacturing state. The federal census showed for the decades1880-1890and1890-1900an increase in the number of manufacturing establishments from 3493 in 1880 to 7505 in 1890, and 11,114 in 1900. During the same period the capital invested increased from $31,004,811 in 1880 to $127,686,618 in 1890 and $165,832,246 in 1900, and the value of the manufactured products increased from $76,065,198 in 1880 to $192,033,478 in 1890 and $262,655,881 in 1900. The wonderful development of Minnesota as a flour-producing state began with the introduction of improved roller processes after 1870. Minneapolis is the chief flour-making centre of the world, and the cities at the " Head of the Lakes " (Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin, considered industrially as one place) constitute the second largest centre. The towns of the Red River Valley, which are nearer to the great wheat belt, give promise of developing into great flouring cities. Next to flour, lumber and timber products rank in importance. Other manufactures of importance are butter, cheese and condensed milk, packed meats and other slaughter-house products, steam railway cars, foundry and machine-shop products, linseed oil, malt liquors, planing-mill products, sash, doors and blinds, boots and shoes, and agricultural implements. As compared with other states of the Union Minnesota ranked third in 1900 and fifth in 1905 in lumber; sixth in 1900 and fifth in 1905 in cheese, butter and condensed milk; eighth in 1900 and in 1905 in agricultural implements; and fourteenth in 1900 and eighth in 1905 in planing-mill products.

For an inland state Minnesota is exceptionally well situated to play a chief part in the commercial life of the country, and various causes combine to make it important in respect to its interstate and foreign trade. It is the natural terminal of three great northern transcontinental railway lines-the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound (the extension of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul system); and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the connecting lines of the Canadian Pacific form lines of communication with the middle Northwest and the Pacific provinces of Canada. Seven navigable rivers within or on the borders of the state-the Red River of the north, the Red Lake River, Rainy River, the Minnesota, the Mississippi, the St Croix and the St Louis 1-give facilities for transport by water that exert an important competing influence on freight charges; and at the " Head of the Lakes " (Duluth-Superior) many lines of steamships on the Great Lakes, providing direct or indirect connexion with the Eastern and Southern states, make that port in respect to tonnage the first in the United States. This combination of natural and artificial highways of commerce derives an additional importance from the character of the regions thus. provided with transport facilities, which renders its cities the principal distributing centres both for the entire Northwest for coal shipped via the Great Lakes, and also for the eastern and middle Western states for the great staples, wheat and lumber, derived either from Minnesota itself or by means of its great transcontinental railways from the neighbouring Northwestern states and Canadian provinces. Iron shipments from the Mesabi and Vermilion ranges, cereals from the Northwest, fruits and vegetables from the Pacific coast, and Oriental products obtained via the great northern railways, are also elements of great importance in the state's commerce. There were on the 31st of December 1908 8 43 8.73 m. of railway within the state. St Paul and Duluth are ports of entry.

NOTE: This article is an historical reference based on the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, now in the Public Domain. The text is provided through scanning and OCR conversion. There may be transcription errors in the article. Encyclopedia style: 1) For reasons of cost and academic writing style, the paragraphs are long in length. 2) Contributors to articles are sometimes identified by their initials in parentheses at the end of the article. 3) Some articles include a section called "Authorities," a record of all the sources used when writing the article. 4) Information is based on knowledge available in 1911 and may be inaccurate, especially in the areas of science, law, and ethnography. 5) Images and diagrams from the original are not included with article. 6) Do not use this information for medical or legal guidance or any research requiring current information.

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      "Minnesota, United States of America," Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 18, Medal to Mumps (11th ed.), (New York: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911); digital edition, ( : posted 15 Jan 2013)

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