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
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
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
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
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.