A Brief Word

| January/February 1998

Just before assembling this column in early November, we had a visit from Walter Reiff of Stuttgart, Germany. Walter is well known in England and in Europe; he travels to a great many shows selling books, models, and numerous other items. He has also traveled extensively in the U.S., and makes it a point to attend the National Farm Toy Show held at Dyersville, Iowa, every year. In visiting with Walter we asked about the H. M. T. Show in Holland. Walter tells us it's as big as the Ageless Iron Expo at Ankeny or perhaps bigger, and with more variety.

We've also talked with a couple of others who have been there, and understand the H. M. T. to be a fantastic show. As noted previously, we'll be hosting a tour group to Germany and Austria next summer, eventually closing out our journeys with a full day and more at the H. M. T. Show. This writer hasn't been there, so we can't tell you firsthand, but if our information is correct, this ought to be a show to see, at least once!

By the time this issue is in your hands we should have the final itinerary for next year's tour; up till now we've been working with a rather condensed version. The problem is that it is quite difficult to line up visits so far ahead of time, yet it is essential that we get moving on the tour several months in advance. For instance, it now appears that a major change will be to use American Airlines rather than the one selected previously. With this change, we'll leave Holland by our coaches, travel through Belgium, on up to Calais, France, through the Channel Tunnel and on to Heathrow Airport in England. This is a beautiful and scenic drive! See our ad in the last issue of GEM, or for further information write to C. H. Wendel's European Tour, Box 257, Amana, IA 52203. You can also e-mail us at

Ye olde Reflector has been immensely pleased with the sales of our new Encyclopedia of American Farm Implements. Thus far the sales figures have exceeded any book we've ever written! We think this points out the immense interest that has evolved in the farm implement and machinery scene in recent years. As we've said before, the tractors and engines are mostly in the hands of collectors by now, and the price continues to escalate. We have contended for some time that farm machinery will be the next collecting wave, and this seems to be coming true. Just recently a fellow offered us a four-hole Sandwich all-wood corn sheller at a very reasonable price, and although we really don't have the space for it, somehow we'll have to find a way to get it shedded!

Occasionally we'll get a complaint that a book we sent out was not received. We've heard the same thing from other people who use the postal service...either the package was not received or looked as if it had gone through a burr mill enroute. Please bear in mind that when someone sends something, they assume it was received if they don't hear otherwise...the vast majority of advertisers try to do right by their customers, but sometimes Murphy's Law intervenes ... if anything can go wrong, it will!

Recently a GEM reader sent us some interesting information on the Superior Feed Grinders. See the letterhead and letter dated January 11, 1912. Also see the order blank and ordering instructions. While specific details are lacking, it is apparent that Superior was still building a gas engine or two at this time. Our thanks go out to Alan Diamond, 9345 Lemon Ave., LaMesa, CA 91941, who was kind enough to share this material with us.


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