A young man who lived 31/2 miles south-west of Salina was in the market for a complete steam threshing rig in the spring of 1911. We first met at that time. He was a strong man and did much more work than the average man could do. His hair was thick and black and his eyes dark. He dressed well and his appearance was good. He was unmarried.
When I called to see him, he owned and had operated a 20 H.P. engine and a wood frame separator, three years. He had decided to trade machinery.
The examination of the machinery revealed, at least one third of the cylinder teeth were bent, broken or missing. The condition of the cylinder indicated his reason for trading. The cylinder seemed of poor construction. With an operator, who showed machinery no mercy, a cylinder of that kind greatly reduced the efficiency of a separator. It changed it from a profit making to a money losing machine.
An operator who furnished a full crew to operate a steam thresher paid and fed them could not take chances with a separator that would not stand abuse, thresh, separate, clean and save the grains. Bushels were the first requisite. Notes could not be paid and men paid and fed without them. Threshing wheat in Kansas was a business. There were no holidays.
The prospect ordered a 26 H.P. rear mounted compound Advance engine mounted upon a LeFevre boiler and a 36-60 separator fully equipped.
An Advance separator, then was equipped with strong cylinder and concave teeth, heavy concave blanks and concave holders. Those parts were very nearly unbreakable. In wet and stack burned grain no trouble was experienced with the cylinder, cylinder and concave teeth, blanks and concave holders. That customer was highly successful when he operated Advance, Avery and Nichols and Shepard machinery
St. Mary is located 95 miles east of Salina on the Union Pacific railroad. It was not on the Salina Block. For many years prior to 1903 and later, and operator from St. Mary operated his machinery at Sylvan Grove in Lincoln Co. Wheat acreage was larger and a more profitable place to thresh. Few operators of traction engines understood one better. He was a friendly man.
In Nov. 1910, I had been at the Kansas City Branch. As I returned, I stopped in St. Mary to see him. He informed me, one of his friends was in the market for an engine. With his assistance, we sold him an 18 HP. Advance engine.
Before harvest the next year, soon after my prospect ordered his machinery, Advance Thresher Co., informed me, the customer to whom I sold the engine in Nov. 1910 was in the market for a separator and requested me, because of my having sold him an engine, to go to St. Mary and write his order for a separator.
I told the customer, who had bought the rig, the company had requested me to go to St. Mary and see a prospect for a separator. He said, 'I would like to go with you,' and did. We met the St. Mary prospect early in the afternoon. A competitor had him sold, had he written the order. We worked until supper time and had not closed the sale. We were invited to a nicely prepared supper. As we sat at the table, the conversation turned to separators. Suddenly the prospect's wife spoke to him and said, 'You are not going to buy that other separator. You are going to buy an Advance.' I realized an Advance separator had been sold. From her accent, there was no mistaking her nationality. It was well to agree with her.
Early in my sales work, I realized it generally was better to be alone on a sale. Not many times, dil two work well together on a sale. It has been said 'Too many cooks spoil the broth.' That applied equally well on sales. A wrong word spoken at the proper time lost a sale.