Founded on July 10, 1914, the Toro Motor Company provided engines for the Bull Tractor Company of Minneapolis. The name “Toro” was chosen due to the company’s association with Bull, one of the early leaders in the tractor field . After Bull Tractor folded due to competition from Ford’s tractor division, Toro changed gears and focused on the lawn mowing industry. In 1919, Toro partnered with the Minikahda Club in Minneapolis and built a motorized fairway mower that cut a 12-foot wide swath of grass using a tractor mounted with five 30-inch mowers. The company’s innovative design replaced old horse-drawn equipment and created a motorized golf course equipment industry. In 1938 Toro introduced their first power mower designed for homeowners. After World War II, Toro began marketing their first snowblowers and opened an expensive research and development facility down in Bloomington. From 1946 to 1950 sales grew from $1.4 million to $7 million.
Toro pioneered television advertising back in the ’50’s and by the the time they brought out the Snow-Pup, snow blower in 1961, the company’s power mower line was widely regarded as the standard in American engineering excellence. In 1966,Toro prepared the field for Superbowl I. The Packers won. Toro grew by leaps bounds and acquisitions. They bought Lawn-Boy in 1989 and the company made the Fortune 500 list the same year. These days, Toro continues their long tradition. They still make all sorts of maintenance equipment, irrigation systems and their products are widely used to maintain and landscape golf courses, sports fields, parks, commercial properties and my neighbor’s yard.