Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Salesman Sample

Thursday, November 29, 2012
    (Cloudy, Cold, and Slippery Sidewalks & Roads)Veering off Topic - but Ingteresting

The Salesman's Sample


   This is my second blog post for today. My other one was about a "super" toy. That one was manufactured by Ruehl, and it is called the Cedar Rapids Stone Crusher. I've often seen tat one, and recently I've even mistaken it for a "Salesman's sample". A salesman's sample was an authentic and real working model of a a working item. Examples were cast-iron stoves, and for today - farm machinery, circa late 1890's-1920's. 

  When I think of toys, I like to place them in their historical timeframe and perspective to the progress of man. What's interesting about the "samples" is that they were carried by salesmen on trains at the time period that I previously mentioned. In North America ( Canada and the  U.S.A.), major historical events had passed. I'll speak mostly about the U.SA.,but Canada had it's  moments.

   1869 saw the completion of the USA's transcontinental Railroad, 4 years after the civil war had ended, and the Native American Wars were soon to be over. With the completion of the RR system, the west was opened up to new immigrants both in Canada (Prairie Provinces) and the USA (the Great West). Both countries were eager to settle and expand the territory, so farmers were offered huge tracts of land to settle. Of course, with the land, machinery was needed to grow crops and grains, and raise cattle.

   The only means of communication for the most part was the telegraph and mail. All merchandise travelling a great distance was shipped by freight on board a train. To sell large-sized merchandise such as farm machinery that was operated by oxen or horses, you needed to have salesmen to carry small authentic models orr samples with them to sell to farmers out west.

A "Slight" Veering Off-Topic, but Very Interesting

   There's an interesting Canadian TV series called the Murdoch Mysteries on our national television network - the CBC. I'm not usually a fan of Canadian TV, but this program I like a lot!
The series is about a detective in the Toronto Police Force at the end of the 1890's and I assume into the early 1900's. 

  What's interesting are the  props, clothing and hairstyles of that time period. What's also more interesting is that for some reason famous people of the time are  on the program, being involved in intrique and murders, although they never are the "culprits". One week Tesla, the brilliant inventor was on,and a few weeks later, Henry Ford , the inventor of the Model T and the assembly line) was on.

    One more point also is noteworthy. I always think of large-siezed Canadian and American cites of the time (late 1890's) having paved roads and concrete sidewalks.However, in most movies that I've seen, the roads are of dirt, and the sidewalks are wooden. In the Toronto period for the Murdoch Mysteries, there are lots of telegraph wires all over, and the roads are dirt. I can't remember what kind of sidewalks there are as the people are always seen walking on the road!

(please press on the address above to be redirected to the James D. Julia website).

     I've intentionally left the information and dimensions  out of today's blog, as I'd you you, the reader, to go to the Julia site. You can look for their toy division, and then "past auctions", then migrate down on that page to the June 26, 2009 auction.

There are many other fine toy photos and toys that were part of this auction, so take your time to look at a great part of history.

And to the Julia company and family, I would again like to thank them for being privileged to be able to use their fine toy photos.

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great morning, afternoon, or evening 
wherever you may be.


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