Iron Age Ads

Some things never change

| July 2006

The Farmer's Friend wind stacker was manufactured by the Indiana Mfg. Co. of Indianapolis. The Indiana company fought a battle as familiar in 1912 (when this advertisement was published in The American Thresherman) as it is nearly a century later: trademark infringement. "To all persons buying and using wind stackers, this trademark is for your protection as well as ours" the ad reads. Customer loyalty on this product is hard to imagine. Quite likely, the farmer buying a wind stacker for use on his thresher found a cheap imposter every bit as effective as the Farmer's Friend.

Introduced in the 1890s, wind stackers were used to blow straw and chaff away from the thresher into a pile. Large fans mounted at the rear of the machine provided the force needed to blast the material through large galvanized tubes. In most cases, the tube could be rotated and raised, giving the farmer flexibility in location of straw piles. For a neat example of recycling, in the earliest days of wind stackers, that straw might have been fed into the steam traction engine powering the thresher, as straw was sometimes used as fuel in those engines.

Advertisements from many farm publications printed at the turn of the 20th century were more than mere methods to hawk tractors and farm equipment. To share those ads from days gone by, Farm Collector periodically reproduces some of the most-spectacular ads used to promote farm equipment and products.

To submit a vintage advertisement for possible 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: