In 1854, New England entrepreneurs, Alfred and Parley Williams along with Charles Heald and Marvel White established the Williams, Heald & Company and also formed the Moline Iron Works.
By 1860, the Tri-Cities documented 30 manufacturers and shops operating in the area as the communities grew from river towns to manufacturing centers. Spurred by the newly arrived railroad, companies flourishing in the Tri-Cities were: Deere & Co., Dimock & Gould, Moline Iron Works and Moline Wagon Company.
By the late 1870s, Moline boasted 19 factories lining the riverfront. Companies like Deere & Co., Beers & Co. Foundry, Moline Iron Works and Moline Plow Works were all building farm implements or related products, making the city “the Farm Implement Capital of the World.”
A posting in 1893 indicated “in Moline there are well established mallable iron works, pump and scale works and wind mill works, all have been doing a fair prosperous trade for the last several years.”
In a 1933 newspaper article, a Merle C. Nutt is cited as being vice-president of the Moline Iron Works. Additional articles indicate he was owner by the 1940s. It is interesting to note the company’s own logo above indicates it dates to 1878; however, one journal documents the company was in existence by 1860. The merger or demise of MIW has not been determined by me at this point; although a 1956 price list for the company still lists a complete line of hay trolleys and supporting hardware. By that time there would probably have been little market other than perhaps for repair parts.
MIW trolleys, forks and pulleys can be identified by the raised logo appearing as an “M” over a horizontal “I” and the standardized part number typically made up of several digits such as “HC921A.”
Source: Article By Dennis Mcgrew
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