Tonka toy trucks were created by Mound Metalcraft Company in 1947 in a schoolhouse basement near Lake Minnetonka. An immediate success, the half dozen employees produced 37,000 toy trucks that first year. Since then, entire generations of children have grown up with Tonka trucks. These durable, bright yellow toys may well be seen as an iconic symbol of childhood in the post-World War II era, representing a time when all things seemed possible. Unlimited growth, interstate highways, skyscrapers, suburbs, malls--all these things constructed in an era of cheap resources by young adults who grew up moving piles of dirt from one edge of their sandboxes to the other. Okay, maybe that's a little over the top! But it is certainly true that millions of youngsters grew up with and have fond memories of the Tonka truck received as a birthday or Christmas present. Such fond memories, all the result of the efforts of a tiny start-up company in Minnesota, most provide a sufficient rationale for including the humble and noble Tonka truck in the Minnesota 150.
~Matt Bjurstrom, Minneapolis, MN