In 1899 the lumber era had been winding down and new industries were needed to keep Saginaw afloat. Hence the first sugar beet factory in Saginaw was built in 1899.
In 1903 Saginaw employed 1,500 workers in Saginaw County’s eleven coal mines. The first car produced in Saginaw, the Ranier, came out in 1905. In 1910 the Argo Electric Car was produced. In 1916 the “Yale Eight” was produced by the Saginaw Motorcar Company. The Lehr was also produced by Lehr Motor Co. In 1918 “The Peninsular” automobile was produced. Two trucks were produced in Saginaw, Nelson Brothers Motor Truck Co. and Ruggles Truck.
1917 the state of Michigan decided it was time that Saginaw needed to build a sewage disposal system that was not a river. A court order would force compliance in 1953. Drinking water was provided, in Saginaw, by drilling wells and providing pumps. Every citizen of Saginaw had to pump and carry water until 1948.
1927 Saw the first commercial airfield in the Saginaw Airport Co. From 1928 to 1931 planes were produced, by Paramount Aircraft Co., with pontoons to be suitable to land in water. Successful test flights were landed on the Saginaw River. In 1941 and 1942 Tri-City Airport was built by the US Federal Government to aid in training pilots during the second World War. German Prisoners were also housed here.