First Things

Progress of the Past

MemoriesOfAFormerKid.jpg

Memories Of A Former Kid

Content Tools

The Progress Edition - a special issue trumpeting growth and expansion of local business - was long a routine part of the community newspaper's annual schedule. Articles in this issue of Farm Collector would be a good fit for a Progress Edition … at least, one published in the early years of the 1900s.

Leading the way is a fascinating profile by Bill Vossler on inventor Adolph Ronning. Ronning's inventions spanned every aspect of industry, including farm equipment. A prolific inventor, he won his first patent before graduating from high school in 1912 (well before the advent of another form of "progress," the television). Ronning went on to make a career as an inventor, something hard to do then and nearly impossible to do now.

The mechanized corn picker was another sign of progress, one that looms large in the memories of retired teacher Dale Geise, whose essay "The Day the Cavalry Arrived" appears in this issue. As a boy, Dale was well familiar with the early winter chore that seemed unending. "Is it possible that tens of millions of ears hanging from Iowa cornstalks were once taken, one at a time, by hand?" he muses.

And then there's the Model T Ford Snowmobile. For those with fresh memories of horse and buggy, the Model T had revolutionized transit by 1922, when the Snowmobile conversion kit came along. This development, though, is somewhat harder for me to categorize as "progress." Imagine a time when life's rhythms were directed by sunrise, sunset and prevailing weather conditions. Imagine a time when snow-covered roads meant staying close to home; when trips to town were more about meeting basic needs, before shopping became entertainment.

Still, it's impossible not to smile at the giddy response that surely greeted something like the Snowmobile kit. In an era when industrial technology was evolving so rapidly, every advancement must have felt like a stunning innovation designed to improve the lot of mankind. Today, of course, innovation rarely receives automatic acclaim: Lessons have been learned, and experience is a stern taskmaster. Oh to have known those sweet, heady days when almost anything seemed possible. Progress creates its own momentum: These articles capture a bit of that. Enjoy this Progress Edition from the past!

Leslie McManus, Editor
LMcManus@OgdenPubs.com

FARM COLLECTOR

Subscriptions: 12 monthly issues, $29.95/year U.S. (periodical class mail). Call toll free: (800) 678-4883; or send check or credit card details. U.S. funds only.

Subscriber Customer Care and Back Issues: (866) 624-9388.

Advertising: Classified advertising - see classified section. Display advertising - contact Terri Keitel, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; (800) 678-5779; e-mail: tkeitel@ogdenpubs.com

Deadlines: All display advertising materials and classified advertisements are due on the 1st of each month.

Submissions: Submit letters to the editor, manuscripts and photos, accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Farm Collector is not responsible for return of materials.

Farm Collector occasionally makes its customer list of names and addresses available to carefully screened companies whose products might be of interest. If you prefer not to receive such mailings, please copy your mailing label exactly, and mail it to Farm Collector Preference Service, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.

Farm Collector ISSN 1522-3523 (publication no. 017086) is published monthly by Ogden Publications Inc., 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Periodical-class postage paid at Topeka, KS 66609 and at additional mailing offices. U.S. subscriptions by mail, postage prepaid one year, $29.95.

All payment must be made in U.S. funds. Postmaster: send address changes to Farm Collector Circulation Dept., 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 40601019.

Subscribers: If the Post Office alerts us that your magazine is undeliverable, we have no further obligation unless we receive a corrected address within two years.

Farm Collector does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered by companies advertising in the magazine or Web site. Nor does Farm Collector evaluate the advertisers' claims in any way. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.

© 2009 Ogden Publications Inc.