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Autumn in Mill City by shutterbug2010


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Shot with my Canon PowerShot SX20 IS
Textured and processed in PSE 8
Best viewed large for full detail
As of 3/15/14: 1408 Views, 9 Favorites, 9 Sales
Featured in Art Universe

The Gold Medal Flour sign is a prominent city landmark whose mill had withstood the trials of fire and destruction over the past 100 years. The sign stands on one of the restored mills along the Mississippi River who kept the old signs of the former tenants. That tenant was C.C Washburn whose six-story Washburn “A” flour Mill rivaled every competitor during the industry boom in the 1800s. It was the largest flourmill in the world until the “Pillsbury A” Mill (the city’s other Historical Landmark) was constructed across the Mississippi River in 1881. From 1880-1930, Minneapolis was known as the “Flour Mill Capital of the World.”

The Flour Power story began after the flour won gold, silver and bronze medals at the first International Millers’ Exhibition in 1880. The flour was then packaged and shipped under the name “Gold Medal” for the first time. Gold Medal Flour quickly made a name for itself as the country’s premium product. At peak production, the mill could grind almost 2,000,000 pounds of flour and make 12 million loaves of bread per day. The Washburn “A” Mill was powered by Saint Anthony Falls and contributed hugely to the early development of Minneapolis. Gold Medal Flour is only one of a few U.S. grocery products to retain status as the top-selling flour in the country after more than a century.

On May 2, 1878, a spark ignited airborne dust within the mill, creating a massive explosion that demolished Washburn A and surrounding businesses, resulting in 18 deaths. The infamous day was nationally recognized and remembered as “The Great Mill City Disaster” and led to major reforms in the industry. By 1880, the mill was rebuilt again in astonishingly rapid speed and took the #1 spot as the largest flour mill in the world. Washburn later teamed up with John Crosby to create the nationally recognized General Mills Company, the most technologically sophisticated mill in the world for almost 50 more years.

Flour production in Minneapolis began to decline after World War I as milling technology no longer depended on waterpower. The mill was shut down in 1965 and left vacant until a fire again ravaged most of the building in 1991. Rather than demolish the entire structure, the glass-walled Mill City Museum was built on the flourmill site. A part of the dilapidated building was left with nearly the entire side exposed, giving visitors a unique urban view into the hollowed-out building

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  • jules572
    jules572about 4 years ago

    Wonderful job with the textures Steve, the colors are perfect for the aging process…Jules…Favor

  • Thanks so much Jules, glad you liked it!

    – shutterbug2010

  • Rick  Friedle
    Rick Friedleabout 4 years ago

    Great capture!

  • Thanks Rick!

    – shutterbug2010

  • icesrun
    icesrunabout 4 years ago

    Love this capture and just love the texturing you did!

  • Thank you very much!!!

    – shutterbug2010

  • clancy214
    clancy214about 4 years ago

    nice work

  • Thanks!

    – shutterbug2010

  • Albert
    Albertabout 4 years ago


  • Thanks! ;~)

    – shutterbug2010

  • dasSuiGeneris
    dasSuiGenerisabout 4 years ago

    Wow! Classic and timeless image, shutterbug. I love the textures and colors here. Nice Work!

  • Thank you very much!

    – shutterbug2010

  • paintingsheep
    paintingsheepabout 4 years ago

    Fabulous work!

  • Thank you Gena!!

    – shutterbug2010

  • kkmarais
    kkmaraisabout 4 years ago

    Love your photo of the mill!! The beautiful colors and textures you applied make this image so spectacular. Also enjoyed the history of the mill that you included. Kathy

  • Thank you so much Kathy! I love the Mill District, both sides of the Mississippi. I’m glad you enjoyed the pic, and the history.

    – shutterbug2010

  • Lynne Prestebak
    Lynne Prestebakover 3 years ago

    Wonderful treatment to a true landmark of the Mill District…awesome!!

  • Thanks Lynne, one of my favorite landmarks, see it everyday, never grow tired of it!

    – shutterbug2010

  • Sunchia
    Sunchiaover 3 years ago

    Great image.

  • Thank you Sunchia!

    – shutterbug2010

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