A Water Bill Changes the Course of Events

| November/December 1958

Salina, Kansas

During the 1907 Threshermen's Convention at Wichita, Kansas, about which LeRoy W. Blaker wrote in his fantastic letter 'The Baker Fan' published on pages 5 and 6 of the March-April 1958 issue of the ALBUM, H. G. Schnelle, Mgr. of the Kansas City Branch of Advance Thresher Co., and under whom the Sub Branch operated, was at the Branch with the salesman, who worked Kansas and Oklahoma territories.

The Baker fan contest was on, several Advance customers had come in, and insisted an Advance engine be tested on the fan. Mr. Schnelle said to them in his soft voice, about these words, 'Advance Thresher Co., enters no contests. This is a Baker show,' and no Advance engine was tested on the Baker fan at Wichita, in 1907. Mr. Schnelle's instructions never were changed at the Kansas City Branch.

Advance Thresher Co's. salesmen were busy during the convention, sold 'some machinery and did not have much time to watch the Baker show but I walked over to the contest one afternoon and arrived just in time to see a Russell beat the Baker engine.

They were testing a Russell on the fan, when I arrived on the scene and I saw a demonstration of what a good operator could do with an engine. The operator had broken the coal to burn the very best, the level of the water was high enough, the pump was so adjusted the volume of water remained about the same and the safety valve sizzled nearly all the time but did not release. That engine did all it had but that was enough.

The Threshermen's Convention was one of the events of the year at Wichita in the early 1900's. The gathering of threshermen, probably was the the largest ever to assemble any place and no more complete line of threshing machinery ever was exhibited anywhere Business was delayed, because of the show. Buyers waited for the Convention. I had called on Geo. F. Redman of Wilson, Kansas, but he could not be sold before the show.


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