Rare Documents Complement Curtis Combine Collection

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The 1930 Curtis: "Only $995 while they last."

The 1930 Curtis: "Only $995 while they last."

courtesy Ed Larson

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Produced for just one year, and presumably in small numbers, a Curtis combine is a rare piece of agricultural history.

Original documents from the company are even more rare – making this assortment of pieces owned by a Kansas man a special array, indeed.

Ed Larson, Milan, Kan., is an avid collector of Gleaner and Curtis combines, as well as steam engines and tractors. His collection of Curtis combines is complemented by very nice supporting documents, including a 1931 letter on Curtis Harvesters Corp. letterhead (and signed by company president Curtis Baldwin), a detailed price list and two brochure covers.

In the letter, Baldwin responds to a potential customer’s inquiry with pricing on the newest combine model. But he also pitches a deal on last year’s model. “I wish particularly to call your attention to the Model 30 Curtis,” he offers, “which can yet be had for only $995 (about $14,000 in today’s terms).”

The two brochure covers highlight at least one difference between the 1930 and ’31 models. The 1930 Curtis had a pair of wheels on the front. The 1931 model, Ed explains, had a single wheel that pivoted on a dolly-type mounting. FC

Read more about the Curtis Harvesters Corp.: “ One-Year Reign of the Curtis: Curtis Baldwin’s Limited-Production Combine .”

Grateful acknowledgement is given to Ed Larson, who contributed these images from his collection. For more information, contact him at 657 S. Milan Rd., Milan, KS 67105; (620) 435-6869; e-mail:  larson67105@yahoo.com .

To submit a vintage advertisement for publication, send it to: Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; or submit high-quality digital images by e-mail: editor@farmcollector.com.