Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].
Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].

Collins Plow Company. Quincy, ILL. [cover title].

[Quincy, Ill., ca. 1892]. Oblong 4to (225mm x 328), red leather binding described as a “Perfection Holder,” patented May 24, 1892, and manufactured by Baker-Vawter Company, of Chicago, Holyoke and Atchison. 53 bromide prints, 205 x 253mm, on 53 linen leaves.

A fine trade catalogue of the Collins Plow Company of Quincy, Illinois, consisting entirely of original photographs, featuring their notable line of Eli baling presses, among other agricultural machines and tools.

William Collins and John W. Brown established the Collins Plow Co. between 1880 and 1882, which soon became a prominent manufacturer of various hay presses and more, operating until 1933. Five of the more striking photos included in this catalogue feature the company’s signature line of Eli baling presses which they began manufacturing in the mid-to-late 1880s; the Eli trade name first appeared as a logo on Collins presses in 1889. In one attractive photo offered here, a man in a top-hat and bow-tie is shown pulling down a lever on an enormous Eli baling press. Ink stamps on the veros of some of the photographs identify the products by name. Among these are “Jumbo,” “Equalizers,” “Beams,” “Eagle Claw & Spring Tooth Beams,” “Quincy Queen,” “DBL Shovels,” and “Tooth Harrow.” Others bear ink-stamped item numbers.

A contemporary note on the company appears in a sketch of J. W. Brown in Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois: “[The Collins Plow Co.] is extensively engaged in the manufacture of plows, sulky-plows, cultivators, harrows…[the] company has extended its business throughout Illinois, Missouri, Virginia, New York, the Southern States, California, and nearly every State in the Union. They also ship a great deal of Machinery to the Argentine Republic. They have so completely won public recognition as to the superior quality of their machinery, that they find it almost impossible to keep pace with home orders, and are at work both early and late to meet and properly fill their orders.”

Curiously, this album was used by its previous owner as a cookbook; many of the versos of the photographs feature manuscript recipes for such foodstuffs as “Sweet Mayonnaise,” “Perfection Salad,” and “Fudge Cake”; two recipes clipped from a newspaper are affixed to the recto of one photo.

An excellent visual record of agricultural machinery design at the end of the 19th century.

REFERENCES: Power of the Press: Collins Plow Co. Eli Baling Presses at farmcollector.com; “John W. Brown” at genealogytrails.com from Portrait and Biographical Record of Adams County, Illinois containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens. (Chicago, 1892).

CONDITION: Good, damp-stain at bottom edge affecting margins of approx. half of the photos, occasional light staining to some photos, a few photos with light scribbling.

Item #4333

Price: $1,750.00

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