The Twin City Ford Plant closes today. The last Ford, a Ford Ranger will come poff the line this afternoon. The plant was built in 1924-25 and the first Ford, a Model T was build on May 4, 1925. I wrote a history of the Ford plants and other several years ago. Here are some photos that may be of interest.
Pictures include the Twin City plant in 1925, Our 1910 with Ford officers including the Ford Company President on the right at the TC plant in 2003, and myself in my 1931 roadster inside the Ford plant.
Here are a few more photos. Us and our 1910 inside the Twin City plantin 2003 and a photo of the fist Model T from the TC Plant.
Interesting information, on one of the advertisements in the Ford Dealers News ( not connected to Ford Motor Co.) January 17 1925
buy the Snowmobile Co. listing there Western Branch at 205 Terminal Warehouse Building. St Paul Minnesota. Do you know if there are any pictures relating to this operation around. It sounds like thay knew the assembly plant was coming and this is where the western branch recieved there cars from. Would be interesting to find a connection.
Thanks for any information you might find.
This is a picture of Model T's from the St Paul plant being loaded on a barge at Ford's Landing on the Mississippi river in 1926.
Below is a picture of the same spot taken recently.
Here's a postcard from my collection of the powerhouse.
Royce, Take a closer look at the turtle deck and quarter windows on that coupe being ready for loading on the barge. I've never seen a 26 with those features.
There may or may not be a connection.
Ford was assembling cars in Minneapolis prior to moving operations to St. Paul. (The Minneapolis assembly branch still stands and recently underwent an interior renovation and was written up in the Minneapolis paper last week: http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/135481663.html)
The Terminal Warehouse building was located at 421-449 Eighth Street, which is on the edge of the "Lowertown" area of downtown St. Paul - the warehouse district and near the terminal end of the Soo Line railroad. The area is still warehouse/industrial (or some buildings have been converted to lofts for offices or residential) but I don't think the Terminal Warehouse building is still standing.
The Twin Cities assembly plant in St. Paul is located at least five miles southwest of where the Terminal Warehouse stood. The Twin Cities assembly plant is unique in that it is not located in an industrial area of St. Paul. It is a stand-alone industrial complex on the south end of a residential area known as Highland Park. Highland Park is considered by many people to be a very desirable place to live - it has very well maintained pre and post WWI middle-class and upper middle-class houses. It's almost like a suburb within the city.
Here is a photo of the Terminal Warehouse circa 1922 from the Minnesota Historical Society photo collection:
S0, ........why, exactly, was the plant closed today, December 16, 2011?
Is closing of the plant supposed to be perceived as a positive event?
If so, why?
Moving the plant to China? Is that good?
Max, The Plant closed today because Ford stopped production of the Ford Ranger Pickup. The Ranger was assembled at this plant. Ford is hoping to sell f150's with it's more fuel efficient v6 that is within 1 mpg of the Ranger.
The problems that caused the plant to close are many. First the state of Minnesota is a closed shop state with total union control of the facility and some of the highest taxes in the USA. Economically it is nearly impossible to manufacure anything in Minnesota profitably. So Foro is not going to invest the money to build some other product at that location.
Second, the Ranger costs about the same to manufacture as a Ford F150 yet is smaller and less useful. So buyers often spend the extra $300 to move up to the full size truck.
Third, Ford has not restyled the truck since the late 1990's. This has led to Toyota and Nissan increasing their market share and customer loyalty base.
Ford has a new Ranger pickup that is made and sold in Thailand, Brazil and South Africa. It is not an economically feasable product for the USA market.
Danged greedy 'muricuns won't work for less than a dollar an hour.
The photo of the Model Ts being loaded on barges was taken in 1925. Those are 1925 model Model Ts.
Hey Royce, thats not another hint of "Union Bashing " is it ???? or is it just easier to pass the blame back to the unions for most failures, cant be that the economy, poor sales or management causes problems here !!just the unions...
When I went throught that Ford plant in 1949 the two things I remember best, 1. welding the body panels together and 2. the making and cutting of glass.
They said they were getting the sand from below the plant then. For sure we saw the melting of the sand into glass. That was '49.
I'm a little foggy on this but I think they said they were not only making all the glass for every car made at that plant but were sending glass to other ford plants too.
My comments are not bashing anyone or anything. It is a statement of the facts.
The union generated cost factor has eliminated the viability of manufacturing in the People's Republik of Minnesota. Any new jobs created in Minnesota will be in the government, healthcare or service sectors since making a profit on manufacturing is out of the question there.
As l see it, its not the Unions at fault here, it is simply " US " us as consumers simply want the best we can have for the least amount of cash we can get it for, Unions there, here anywhere only serve to help the small man at the bottom of the tree to survive and be a consumer and part of the community, NOW manufacturing in general irrespective of where it is located is suffering the same down turn, USA, Australia, Britain, all of these places are in the same boat, sending their manufacturing jobs off shore, now you can argue it the unions fault, and a small part of that argument would be correct for some, BUT not all, again we as consumers are in the biggest position for fault, why spend $25-00 on buying a great XXX, when l can get a pretty good copy of the XXX from China for $9-00, thats about as simplified as l can get it to.
" we are cheap bastards when we can get away with it".
Of cause we can all get on the soapbox and bash some part of the community, but are we certain we're right...
Unions and the like have always had a place in the work environment, it gives the small man a say against the big men with the cash who wont listen.
Well, in my opinion the problem is that it is MANDATORY for every worker in a manufacturing plant to join the union in order to have a job. This means that money is siphoned out of every worker's pay and that money is then used to buy politicians who do - guess what - exactly what the union bosses tell them to do.
At the same time the union stewards are responsible for circulating gambling materials such as pull tabs and punch cards and basketball cards and football cards. The resulting gambling profits go to the Mafia who also give part of the skim to the union bosses. All this means the employees have less money to spend, and the union bosses and mafiosi have lots of cash.
Eventually the employer tires of the leeches and moves to a state where business can operate without the influence of organized crime.
If unions are optional and controlled by the workers then they are very useful, good things. When unions are controlled by organized crime then the work force, the employer, and the government suffer and eventually fail.
I believe that statement is fair and reasonable, funneling cash flow to criminal creatures/organized crime and do agree that in those circumstances the ideal of the union does not stand up to scrutiny, by either members or the viewing public.
Here are a few pictures of the tunnels.
A few more pictures
I have more older photos of the Twin City plant such as:
Very interesting photos. Is the history that you wrote of the Twin City Plant available? I find all this rather fascinating.
Best regards, John
I plan on puting it together with some photos. It will be available at a modest price.
Thank you Darel. I would be very interested in having a copy. I will stay in touch. Best regards, John
Put me down for a copy also. One can never have too much Ford info.