Business

  • Minnesota has more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other state in the country. (MNDEED)
  • The nation’s first Better Business Bureau was founded in Minneapolis in 1912.
  • Minnesota was the “Flour-milling capital of the world” from the 1880s through the 1930’s.
  • Minnesota founded, Northwest Airlines (now Delta), introduced the nation’s first closed-cabin commercial plane in 1926. It was a 3-passenger Stinson Detroiter.
  • Hormel Company of Austin marketed the first canned ham in 1926. Hormel introduced Spam in 1937.
  • Introduced in August 1963, The Control Data 6600, designed by Control Data Corp. of Minneapolis, was the first Super Computer. It was used by the military to simulate nuclear explosions and break Soviet codes. These computers also were used to model complex phenomena such as hurricanes and galaxies.
  • Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923. Mars marketed the Snickers bar in 1930 and introduced the 5 cent Three Musketeers bar in 1937. The original 3 Musketeers bar contained 3 bars in one wrapper. Each with different flavor nougat.
  • The Hull-Rust mine in Hibbing is the largest open-pit mine in the world.  It is more than three miles long, two miles wide and 535 feet deep. Since 1895 more than 1.4 billion tons of earth have been removed on its 2,000 acres of land, and more than 800 million gross tons of iron ore have been shipped from the mine. At peak production in the 1940’s, as much as one quarter of the ore mined in the United States came from the Hull Rust Mine. (source: ironrange.org)
  • Twin Cities-based Northwest Airlines was the first major airline to ban smoking on international flights.
  • Alexander Anderson of Red Wing discovered the processes to puff wheat and rice giving us the indispensable rice cakes.
  • Olsen Fish Company (Minneapolis, MN) is the world’s largest Lutefisk processor.
  • The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 allowing ocean going ships to reach Duluth.
  • The first Aerial Ferry was put into Operation on April 9, 1905, over the ship canal between Duluth to Minnesota Point. It had room enough to accommodate 6 automobiles. Round trip took 10 min.
  • In 1919 a Minneapolis factory turned out the nations first armored cars.
  • Hibbing is the birthplace of the American bus industry. It sprang from the business acumen of Carl Wickman and Andrew “Bus Andy” Anderson – who opened the first bus line (with one bus) between the towns of Hibbing and Alice in 1914. The bus line grew to become Greyhound Lines, Inc.

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