Farm Collector

A Water Bill Changes the Course of Events

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.

Geo. Redman had said, ‘He would come to the Advance Branch
before buying.’ Some of them broke their word but he made his
word good. Geo. F. Redman had been to other Thresher Companies
before coming to Advance Thresher Co’s. Branch and evidently,
quoted low prices. Advance Thresher Co. would not cut prices to
make a sale. I did not write Geo. F.

Redman’s order and when he walked from the office, I thought
the sale lost.

G. H. Beal, the Advance Thresher Co. salesman who lived in
Wichita, with whom I had been acquainted since boyhood, had
received his water bill. At noon, when few were in the Branch, Mr.
Beal came to me and said, ‘Go with me to pay my water
bill.’ We were close friends and I went with him.

The water office must have been three-quarters of a mile from
the Branch House and away from what was known in Wichita, as the
‘Thresher Row’. All the Thresher Companies . with the
exception of M. Rumely were Seated there. M. Rumely Co. was located
about a mile east of ‘Thresher Row.’

Mr. Beal paid his water bill and we were walking back to the
Branch House, away from all the Thresher Companies, when we met
Geo. F. Redman walking east and alone. We stopped him and inquired
where he vas going and he said, ‘I’m going to Rumely’s
to buy a rig.’ G. H. Beal was a good salesman. We doubled up on
Geo. F. Redman and he walked back with us to the Advance Thresher
Co’s. Branch. Geo. F. Redman signed an order, with 30 minutes,
for an Advance 22-hp. engine and a 36-60 fully equipped separator.
The order proved a good one for Advance Thresher Co. and me.

I sold my first 40-80 Avery tractor in 1913, to Geo. F. Redman
and received in trade his Advance 22-hp. engine No. 10189. Geo. F.
Redman was a fast thresher. An Advance 36-60 fully equipped
separator, was a heavy load, threshing headed wheat. After 6
seasons, the fire box was without blisters, bulges or leaky stay
bolts. The original flues were in the boiler and had caused no
trouble.

During the 1908 Threshermen’s Convention at Wichita, I wrote
Henry Lindstrom’s order for an Advance 36-60 fully equipped
separator. Later in the 1908 season, I sold him an Advance 26-hp.
tandem compound, taking in trade a Minneapolis 18-hp. engine. That
26 was a powerful economical engine and an outstanding engine among
the simples and the other 40 Advance tandem compounds, I remember
selling. In looking back 50 years, I think that was one of the best
threshing engines I ever saw belted to a separator.

Henry Lindstrom came to me in 1913 and said, ‘He wanted to
buy a good second-hand engine and a new separator as he had decided
to operate two rigs.’ I sold him the Geo. F. Redman Advance
22-hp. engine No. 10189, with a new Avery 36-60, 16-bar double
spiked cylinder separator with feeder, weigher, and wind stacker.
That was a fast machine and required power. Henry Lindstrom was a
good operator. Threshing was no Holiday Affair with him.

In 1913, I traded Geo. F. Redman a 1915 model Avery 40-80
tractor, receiving in trade his 1913, 40-80 and sold him an Avery
42-64, 16-bar double spiked cylinder separator, with feeder,
weigher and wind stacker.

The Geo. F. Redman Advance Thresher Co’s. order would have
been lost and later business not realized, had I not gone with G.
H. Beal to pay his water bill. Fortune smiled kindly upon me that
day.

  • Published on Nov 1, 1958
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