In the early 20th century, Indiana was home to the Advance-Rumely company, which produced farming and agricultural machinery that was used all over the country. The company was officially formed in 1915, but traces its origins back to 1848 when Meinrad Rumely came to America. His business venture became known as the M. Rumely Company in 1887, and produced incredibly popular agricultural products such as the Rumely Oil Pull, which was a gasoline powered tractor.
Following Meinrad’s death in 1904, the company continued to grow and bought out its competitors such as Scott-Garr and the Advance Thresher Company (a thresher is a machine that separates grain from the stalks). After a couple of administrative reorganizations, the company was officially renamed the Advance-Rumely Company.
Although this organization peaked and later declined during the great depression, it left a lasting impact. Citizens all over the country used these products to increase their farm’s production, trusting the reliability and efficiency of the products. To this day, collectors and enthusiasts collect these antiques and ask information professionals for more information about them.
The Indiana State Library hosts numerous trade catalogs of agricultural farm machines online through Indiana Memory. You can view them here: http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/collection/p16066coll6/searchterm/agricultural%20equipment%20catalogs/order/nosort
This blog post was written by Indiana Division Librarian Justin Davis. For more information contact the Indiana Collection Division at (317) 232-3670 or “Ask-A-Librarian” at http://www.in.gov/library/ask.htm.