Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Two Exceptional New Discoveries - The Salesman's Model and The Auctioneer

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
    Sunny with cooler temperatures

Two exceptional New Discoveries-
The Salesman's Model and The Auctioneer

   I made two fantastic discoveries yesterday on Liveauctioneer. One is a salesman's early 20th century Adams Road Grader Sample and the other is Dirk Soulis Auction. I had never known that salesmen sample existed before I started to write this blog. A salesman sample is an exact replica of a "real" item that was used by travelling salesman in the first third of the twentieth century of the USA.. Because there were few automobile roads, or even automobiles for that matter, companies replied on the railroad system to sell and distribute their products. 

Part 1: Mr. Dirk Soulis and Company

I won't give away the whole story, because Dirk Soulis' biography is so interesting . From an early age at college, Dirk appeared to already have a firm foundation in selling. He paid  his own way for his education  at University by buying and selling antiques, as well as working for two Fine Arts and Antiques Dealers After finishing university he travelled with his fine collectibles across America, as well as acting as a broker for some major" pieces of art and antiques for others.

I'll let you read the rest of his biography and the link below, because for me to write the whole story would be like telling you the end of a movie before you saw it, and Dirk's bio, along with his wife Susan, is a great story! 

Part 2: The Salesman's Sample
  Small towns had originally sprouted up all over America, followed by the rail system (trains) then followed by mail catalogues.  Salesmen would travel by train all over the USA (and Canada of course) with small exact models of why they were selling. Because the models were so accurate, the salesman and the customers could see exactly how the item woke in every detail.

  These salesmen samples are not really toys, but they are so fantastic in my opinion,that I write about them periodically. Today's discovery is the Adams Leaning Wheel Road Grader. I've written about the toy Adams engine-operated grader, a circa 1940's toy, but to find the salesman's sample is fantastic.  Today's presentation was pulled by horses or oxen because it had no engine. A driver would sit on a seat and operate the machine and I assume someone else would guide the hard-working horses or oxen. 

The most thorough description of this item was very well researched by Mr. Dirk Soulis or his staff, and I decided to present it verbatim for everyone to read.

"A scarce and desirable Salesman's Sample for the ADAMS LEANING WHEEL ROAD GRADER. This patented leaning wheel design became the industry standard at the turn of the century. The Adams design was superior to other graders of the day in that it kept its blade level even when the terrain was uneven. It eventually became the industry standard for road grader design and was made from 1896 until 1922. Known as the 'Road King' this horse or oxen drawn piece of machinery featured a manually operated blade that smoothed unpaved roads. It could also serve as a snow plow. The tines on its blade could easily break up dry dirt or snow. This is a fine nickel plated brass example of these rare and desirable Salesman's Samples. It has three brass plaques with the maker's name and location. The controls work to adjust the blade and the wheels and a number of other functions. The finish is very nice, completely untouched. This great example measures 10 x 10 x 23 inches."*
Description Courtesy Of Dirk Soulis Auctions

I'll be returning from time to time to Dirk Soulis' fine company and his fine antiques and art. I'm very fortunate to have made these 2 fine discoveries, especially Mr. Dirk Soulis yesterday, and hope to find lots more in the future.

Now if I could just find two very small horses to see how this road grader actually worked!

Joking aside, whenever I find these salesman's samples, I am always enthralled to understand what made America great in her early history. This is one aspect of America that made her so great during the last century!

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