Where Did the Flour Go?

Poster for the Washburn Mill Company: 'From the Fields of Dakota to the Markets of the World,' 1889.

"From the Fields of Dakota to the Markets of the World" The Washburn Mill Company, 1889.

Minnesota Historical Society Poster Collection, Location No. HD7 a1, Negative No. 34318

Flour from Minneapolis moved by rail to destinations on the East Coast but also to ports where it was shipped to Europe. The high quality and low cost threatened local industries in places like England, France, and Germany (in 1878, 10% of Minneapolis's flour went to Great Britain). In Poland, Minneapolis flour undersold local flour; many small farmers who could no longer make a living were forced off their land and came to America on the same ships that had carried the flour.