Sell to the Women

| 2/5/2015 4:45:00 PM

A Photo of Sam Moore's Mother 

During first half of the last century (sounds like a long time ago, doesn't it? But wait—I lived through two thirds of that long ago century—unbelievable!) many farm equipment dealers sold water systems, lighting plants, washing machines and other household appliances. These dealers had long been used to selling only to “the man of the house,” because it was he who controlled the purse strings.

A writer in the July 29th, 1922 issue of Implement & Tractor Trade Journal, a magazine aimed at dealers, has much to say about that “mistaken idea,” as he calls it. He traveled through Rice County, Kansas, during wheat harvest time and says the wheat crop was good and the fall’s corn crop would be just as fine. As a result, farmers were already planning to buy lots of new field equipment.

On a hunch, he talked to twenty or so farm women and found that although there were many fine farm houses, the wives still lagged way behind their husbands in labor saving equipment. The county had 305 tractors, but only 188 power washing machines, 90 home lighting systems, and 139 homes with running water in the kitchen, with the last item being the most desirable to the ladies followed by a home lighting plant.

One farm wife, who had a twelve room house with “practically every modern convenience,” told him, “Don’t blame the men because more women don’t have these things. The women could have conveniences if they would ask for them. She could have labor saving equipment providing she just demands it. You should direct your selling arguments at her.”

Another lady told the reporter that, due to her conveniences, she was able to regulate her work in an orderly manner. Monday is washing day, the wash being done and the house straightened up by 10 o’clock due to her power washer. Tuesday is ironing day and the day the light plant batteries are charged, probably due to the drain on them from the 32-volt iron. Wednesday she makes butter in the morning using an electric churn and sews with her electric sewing machine. Thursday is her “day off” to which she believes she’s entitled. Friday is cleaning day using the electric vacuum sweeper. Saturday is baking time, the dough being prepared by the children in an electric bread mixer before breakfast. This lady also reported that she had been to town three times that week on harvest errands for her husband, but was still up with her work.


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