We’ve heard the phrase “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” That definitely appears to be why the Minneapolis Grain Exchange is conducting an auction in conjunction with its 130th anniversary.

The event is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 2, to be held on the historic MGEX trading floor at the corner of South Fourth Street and South Fourth Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. The announcement advertises the auction as offering “numerous unique and valuable MGEX items, some dating back more than a century.” Both live and silent auctions are being conducted.

The trading floor dates back to 1902 when the first of three current Grain Exchange buildings was erected. The main building housed the trading floor, the central location where producers, processors and millers would gather to trade wheat, oats, corn and other commodities.

“The cash market trading occurred on unique cash tables where sellers would show potential buyers the various grains being offered. Some of these tables, the first of which was placed on the floor in 1902, are among the historical items up for auction,” the MGEX announced.

The preliminary listing of items for auction is quite interesting and includes: 14 cash grain tables used to show buyers the grains being offered, 10 light stands for cash grain tables for alerting of an incoming telephone call, six light fixtures from the members’ dining room, four members’ lounge chairs, different quotation display board sections, seven grain probes, three trading floor fans, three desk lamps, two table lamps, boxes of chalk used to mark grain quotes, the ladder to change chalk board quotes, several grain pans for grain samples, members’ booth wooden organizer and divider, a map box, a visitor balcony bench, the floor guard’s wood chair, a microphone reel recorder, brass railing, a grain diverter for dividing grain into three sample sizes and three illuminated visitor’s balcony signs.  

For a complete list, with photographs, of live and silent auction items can be found at: www.mgex.com/history.html.

“Founded as the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce in 1881, MGEX has served the derivatives marketplace for 130 years. Its flagship contract for hard red spring wheat has traded continuously since 1883,” the celebration announcement explains.

MGEX, a Designated Contract Market (DCM) and Derivatives Clearing Organization (DCO), is the only market for hard red spring wheat (HRSW), national corn index (NCI), national soybean index (NSI), hard red winter wheat index (HRWI), hard red spring wheat index (HRSI) and soft red winter wheat index (SRWI) futures and options.