Pres. 3510 Brooklake Rd. N. E. Brooks, Oregon 97303
Having been in existence for over three decades now, with many new members coming in all the time, many are wondering who started this organization, when it started and where it was formed.
In the last few days of December 1956, Mr. Dale Perrill of Rochester, Michigan sent out about twenty postcards on which he outlined an idea for the organization of a club or association of collectors of old time gasoline engines, tractors and other non-automotive machinery. After a few months the postcards were returned by about ten people and on February 1, 1957 a ballot was presented for a suitable name, election of officers and other matters pertaining to starting up. The name selected was the 'Middle States Early Day Gas Engine and Tractors Association.' The first officers were: John M. Achey, president, Dresser, Wisconsin; Wendell Fertig, vice president, Lamed, Kansas; Alden R. Moural, secretary, Milton, Iowa; Dale M. Perrill, treasurer, Rochester, Michigan. There were a total of 15 charter members. The first meeting was held at the home of secretary Moural, Milton, Iowa on June 8th, 9th & 10th, 1957.
It was at this meeting that the name was changed to 'Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association'.
While it is recorded fact that Mr. Donald E. Robinns of Troy, Ohio was the first member of the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association to show engines at a show held by another organization, we have received information that Mr. Robinns was the first to show engines at any show. This was done during the '50s and was at the Darke County Steam Threshers Inc., show east of Greenville, Ohio. According to our information this is verified by the Iron Man Album and Gas Engine Magazine.
In June 1959 Branch #1 was formed, and was located at St. Croix Valley, Wisconsin. Up until this time the organization had been just a club with members all over the Midwest.
On April 14, 1959 the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractors Association was incorporated in the state of Wisconsin as a non-profit, non-stock corporation. It was in December 1959 that the name 'Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association Inc., and the logo 'EDGE&TA' were federally registered.
On April 29, 1961 the first official annual meeting was held in Geneseo, Illinois. The first order of business was to elect officers. The following persons were elected as the first official officers of the Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association Inc. Lester L. Roos, Geneseo, Illinois, president; F. L. Williams, Cordova, Illinois vice-president; Alden R. Moural, Milton, Iowa secretary-treasurer.
It is noted here that sometime during the year 1968, Karl Marquardt designed the 4' decal of the National Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Assn. Inc. The engine depicted is a 1905, 2 HP, Lauson-Lawton and the tractor is a 1912, 45 HP, IHC Mogul. Mr. Marquardt is to be commended, as this decal is still in use today, unchanged.
There were some ups and downs in the first few years, but in the middle seventies the organization took off. The interest in the hobby has grown and so has the National Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Assn., Inc. We now have 37 branches and will probably have assigned the number 40 by year's end. We have branches located quite some distance apart, from San Diego, California to the state of Virginia.