In the Meiners Grain Co. basement, Meiners and Warsaw crafted a 9-speed transmission—essentially an auxiliary addition for a Farmall M tractor. The extreme success of the 9-speed transmission gave birth to M&W Gear Co., and forced the duo’s production out of the basement and into a remodeled schoolhouse that served as an initial headquarters and churned out thousands of transmissions each year.
Only three years later in 1951, M&W developed oversized pistons, ramping up Farmall M horsepower from 36 to 45. (Warsaw sold out to Bill Ertel and continued in manufacturing with the creation of A&W Dynos.)
The chain of successes enabled a final M&W move to Gibson City in 1955, and an eventual network of five branch houses and roughly 9,000 dealers across the U.S. Each product was trialed in the dirt of Meiners’ 4,800-acre test farm—turbo kits, grain dryers, grain wagons—and tillage tools.