Northwest Thresher Manufacturing

This is a view south from the bluff north of the Territorial Prison. The year is 1907 and the location is directly across from the prison near Main Street. In the background you can see the pontoon bridge. Photo credit, Mr. John Runk, courtesy Washington County Historical Society.

This is a view south from the bluff north of the Territorial Prison. The year is 1907 and the location is directly across from the prison near Main Street. In the background you can see the pontoon bridge. Photo credit, Mr. John Runk, courtesy Washington County Historical Society.

 

Northwest Thresher Manufacturing Company

Written by R. Molenda

Here lies a great mixture of post-Civil War adventure and intrigue, right here in river city, Stillwater, Minnesota.  The story of Northwest Thresher Manufacturing Company includes a great offering of products, employment of as many as 1,600 men, the use of convict labor within and outside the prison confines, contracts with the territorial prison, building of huge manufacturing facilities, engine shops, woodworking shops, machine shops, foundries, politics, railroad shipping inside and outside the USA and of course, competition. 

 

 

 
This is a view to the northeast on Main Street right across the street from the Territorial Prison. The year is 1908. Photo credit is to Mr. John Runk, courtesy of the Stillwater Public Library.

This is a view to the northeast on Main Street right across the street from the Territorial Prison. The year is 1908. Photo credit is to Mr. John Runk, courtesy of the Stillwater Public Library.

 
 
 
Fire at Northwest Thresher Company in 1909. The view is south on Main Street between the prison and the factory. Photo credit, Mr. John Runk, courtesy of the Stillwater Public Library.

Fire at Northwest Thresher Company in 1909. The view is south on Main Street between the prison and the factory. Photo credit, Mr. John Runk, courtesy of the Stillwater Public Library.

 
 
 
This is a promotional photo showing how one tractor can pull ten others in 1909. The location is Main Street, just south of the prison.

This is a promotional photo showing how one tractor can pull ten others in 1909. The location is Main Street, just south of the prison.

 
 
These were the products of the Northwest Thresher Manufacturing Company. In the early 1900's they were regarded as excellent and safe steam engines. The location is just south of the Warden's house on Main Street. Photo credit, Mr. John Runk, Minnesota Historical Society John Runk Collection.

These were the products of the Northwest Thresher Manufacturing Company. In the early 1900's they were regarded as excellent and safe steam engines. The location is just south of the Warden's house on Main Street. Photo credit, Mr. John Runk, Minnesota Historical Society John Runk Collection.

 

The New giant traction engine

Promotional Literature about The New Giant Traction Engine, ca. 1900.

Promotional Literature about The New Giant Traction Engine, ca. 1900.

 

This is a John Runk photo taken behind the Northwest Thresher Manufacturing Company Building ca.1910. The view is toward the south with the wooden pontoon bridge in the background. Access to the railway was important to Stillwater during and after the lumber era.