Joseph Oppenheim

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a manure spreader

Joseph Oppenheim (March 1, 1859 – November 24, 1901) was an educator who invented the modern widespread manure spreader that made farming less labor-intensive and far more efficient in the early 20th century [1] and only he is honored for that invention [2] in the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame in Columbus, Ohio. .[3]

Early Life and Teaching Career[edit]

Born on March 1, 1859 in the small village of Kirchhundem, Germany. Oppenheim obtained a liberal education at universities in Bonn, Germany, and Innsbruck, Austria,[4] and upon graduation from college at the age of 20 he immigrated to the United States. He received a teaching degree in 1881 from St. Francis College in Wisconsin and after briefly teaching in Putnam County, Ohio, he returned to St. Francis College for further study. On August 9, 1883 he married Anna Mary Ellerbrock of Glandorf, Ohio.[5] He then taught in Freyburg, Ohio, New Albany, Indiana, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, before settling in the small town of Maria Stein, Ohio.[6] Oppenheim was “an accomplished musician, specializing in piano and pipe organ, ... a remarkable scholar, conversant with four languages, well read in literature, and an excellent speaker.”[7] As an educator, Oppenheim became the first teacher in Ohio to receive a Lifetime State Teachers Certificate.[8]

Educator Turns Inventor[edit]

In the 1890s, Oppenheim was a schoolmaster in the one-room country schoolhouse in Maria Stein, the town where John M. Kramer was building a “manure unloader” based on a patent in his name but claimed to be jointly owned by him, Fred Heckman and Henry Synck.[9] Originally manure was thrown from a wagon.[10] The unloader that Kramer built used a drag chain at the bottom of the wagon to pull the load of manure to the rear where it was shredded by a pair of beaters and deposited directly behind the machine, but with very little spreading to the sides.[11] As a result, farmers still had to take the time-consuming step of heading into the fields with peg-tooth drags or similar implements to spread the manure in order to prevent burning the soil.[12]

As a schoolmaster, Oppenheim was concerned that the older boys often missed class at certain times of the year to stay home and work on the farm, usually loading and spreading manure. Not only was the chore backbreaking, but it deprived them of their education which Oppenheim saw as a need for the future.[13]

While watching children play a game called "tom ball," Oppenheim noticed that when the ball was struck with the bat, which was actually a paddle-shaped board, the ball was deflected to one side or the other, depending on the angle of the paddle.[14] Oppenheim saw this paddle-effect as the solution to the problem of manure spreading. He felt that a series of paddles could be attached to the rear of a manure unloader to cast manure in a wide pattern several times the width of the wagon.[15]

To test his theory, Joseph, with the help of his oldest son, B.C. Oppenheim, knocked the end out of a cigar box and built a small rotary paddle distributor into that open end. Each of the paddles on the rotary distributor was set at a different angle. Then, Joseph and his son filled the cigar box with chaff and operated the small distributor with power from the drive wheel of a sewing machine. The test was successful. The chaff was thrown in a wide pattern. After several other tests, Oppenheim became convinced that he had an idea that could be designed into manure unloaders.[16] When Kramer’s machine shop was destroyed by fire and his business failed, Oppenheim obtained Kramer’s patent in exchange for forgiving a loan he had made to Kramer[17] and then obtained a patent for his own new idea.[18] Thus the widespread modern manure spreader was born.[19]

Oppenheim’s New Idea manure spreader[edit]

Oppenheim's first New Idea spreader had two beaters. The top beater was situated immediately above the lower beater and was smaller because pulverizing of the top part of the load was easier than the bottom. Immediately behind the beaters was the famous New Idea “widespread” which had a steel axle with several wooden paddles attached to it.[20] The paddles were six inches wide and eight inches long, fastened to the shaft at an angle to throw the manure outward.”[21]

On October 18, 1899, Oppenheim broke ground for a small shop in Maria Stein, Ohio, where he could produce his new manure spreader, incorporating the “widespread” paddle device in addition to two beaters.[22] Among the first employees he hired at the shop were Fred Heckman and Henry Synck.[23] Synck, who later married one of Joseph’s daughters, Wilhelmina,[24] was said by contemporaries to have had “a genius for machinery and mechanics of all kinds.” and “in 1899 he entered the employ of Oppenheim and gradually familiarized himself with the technique of the business.”.[25] Neighbors around the town of Maria Stein started referring to the widespread manure spreaders as “Oppenheim’s new idea” and Joseph adopted this as the name for the business.[26]

Only two manure spreaders were produced the first year of operation and fourteen the following year.[27] Oppenheim did not live long enough to realize any financial reward, for he died on November 24, 1901 as one of the victims of typhoid fever that struck the small village.[28] But his wife, Anna Mary, carried on operations of the New Idea Spreader Works by using the money obtained from Joseph’s insurance policy.[29] Joseph’s son, B.C. Oppenheim, became the president in place of his father and Henry Synck was in charge of production.[30] Not only did the business carry on, it thrived on brisk sales of the New Idea spreader.[31]

In 1902 a new model spreader was introduced not only with a greatly reduced draft to lighten the burden on horses, but also with the upper beater moved slightly forward adding to the efficiency of both beaters.[32]

Rapid Growth of The New Idea Company[edit]

In 1904 the company changed its name to the New Idea Spreader Company[33] and demand for its manure spreaders increased steadily until it soon outgrew its first little shop. On July 1, 1907, the New Idea Spreader Company, while maintaining operations at Maria Stein, opened a factory in nearby Coldwater, Ohio[34] where it had the advantage of two railroads on which it could ship the spreaders.[35] In 1912, all operations were moved to a new 220,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) factory on twenty acres in Coldwater with all machinery driven by electricity.[36] By 1916 the New Idea Spreader Company had branches in eight states and an assembly plant in Guelph, Ontario. “[The] net assets of the firm were over one million dollars with total sales for that year of $1,250,000.”[37] Eight years later, in 1924, the factory was turning out 125 manure spreaders in an eight-hour day[38] and had a profit of two million dollars.[39]

“To meet the changing business environment, the company was incorporated in 1920 as the New Idea Company; however the stock was not publicly traded and it remained a closely-held family corporation”[40] until 1937 when it began to take on outside investors.[41]

When B.C. Oppenheim died in 1935, Joseph’s son-in-law, Henry Synck, who was one of Oppenheim's first employees, became president.[42] Ten years later, in October 1945, Joseph Oppenheim’s heirs, all of whom worked from the beginning in sales and production,[43] sold their controlling interest in New Idea to AVCO.[44] In 1984 AVCO sold the New Idea line of farm machinery to White Farm Equipment Company, part of the Allied Corporation, which formed White-New Idea[45] which sold the company to AGCO in 1993.[46] On December 8, 1999, nearly 100 years after Joseph Oppenheim patented his invention, AGCO announced that it would close the New Idea manufacturing facilities in Coldwater, Ohio because “reduced demand for agricultural equipment” precluded it from remaining competitive.[47]

Joseph Oppenheim was inducted into the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame in Columbus, Ohio by Governor James A. Rhodes on August 27, 1969. His portrait hangs in the Ohio Historical Building on the State Fairgrounds.[48]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ : U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 648,519, Manure Distributor and Spreader for Joseph Oppenheim, Maria Stein, Ohio, Filed February 17, 1900.
  2. ^ For one hundred years after his invention, no person other than Oppenheim was ever credited with inventing, co-inventing, or helping invent the widespread manure spreader in the several sources cited herein, not in the articles on Joseph Oppenheim, Henry Synck, or The New Idea Spreader Company in Nevin O. Winter’s 1917 three volume “History of Northwest Ohio,” cited herein, not in the many magazines and newspapers published in the 20th century cited herein, and not in the trade publications of The New Idea Company, AVCO or AGCO, that recount the history of Oppenheim’s New Idea Company, cited herein, all of which date from the founding of the company through the various 1999 publications celebrating New Idea’s 100th Anniversary.
  3. ^ “New Idea Founder Inducted in Agricultural Hall of Fame,” Mercer County Chronicle, September 4, 1969, page 1. See also: AVCO Dealer News, Vol. 15, No.10, October 1969, p. 5.
  4. ^ “Joseph Oppenheim,” in Nevin O. Winter, Litt. D., History of Northwest Ohio, Vol. 3, p. 1671, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago & New York: 1917.[1]. (accessed May 17, 2011). Photograph of Joseph Oppenheim appears after page 1670 [2] (accessed May 17, 2011).
  5. ^ Cindy Birt, “New Idea: Its Start and the First 75 Years,” The Celina, Ohio Daily Standard, May 16, 1974, p. 18.
  6. ^ “Joseph Oppenheim Would Be 100 Sunday,” Mercer County Chronicle-Journal, February 26, 1959, page 1
  7. ^ Winter, History of Northwest Ohio, Vol. 3, p. 1671
  8. ^ Mercer County Notables website, http://billwendel.com/history/index.htm (accessed, Nov. 9, 2010)
  9. ^ Fred Heckman, “Early Manure Spreader History: Particularly of New Idea,” Pamphlet, Coldwater, Ohio, July, 1939, p. 4, “the patent for the manure distributor was issued in Kramer’s name although I always thought Henry Synck and I would own the Patent when granted, but Kramer also signed the application, and he had not done anything...but he may have had a right because it was worked out in his shop, so we were with three in this Patent.” quoted in Birt, “New Idea and Its Start ...” at p. 19. See also: Knapp, “More than one person invented the Manure Spreader,” Mercer County Chronicle, July 22, 1999, p. 1 indicating that the Kramer’s device was known as a “manure unloader” with photograph of “unloader” on p.2. The “more than one person” Knapp (obviously tongue-in-cheek) refers to is Oppenheim’s widow who, after Joseph’s death, received his second New Idea spreader patent as his “executor.”
  10. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” page 19 column 3; See also: “Three Generations, The Story of New Idea” “Our 60th Year,” Pamphlet , Coldwater, Ohio 1959, pp 1 &2.
  11. ^ Tharran E. Gaines, “100 Years of New Ideas,” FieldHAND, Spring 1999, p.8; See also: Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p. 18.
  12. ^ Brian Wayne Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company of Coldwater, Ohio,” (Part 1 of 2 Parts), Belt/Pulley Magazine, Vol.11, No. 5, September/October 1998, http://wellssouth.com/blog/?p=83 (accessed Nov. 8, 2010)
  13. ^ “100th Anniversary, A Century of Excellence, New Idea 1899-1999,” Pamphlet, AGCO Corporation 1999, p.3. See also: B.C. Oppenheim, “My Father’s Help to the Farmer,” ‘’The Country Gentleman,’’ Vol LXXXII, Issue 42, Page 31, Nov. 17, 1917, at [3] (accessed May 17, 2011)
  14. ^ “100th Anniversary, A Century of Excellence, New Idea 1899-1999,” Pamphlet, AGCO Corporation 1999, p.3
  15. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 1”. Nearly all other documents referenced herein contain the same story.
  16. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 1”
  17. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p.18
  18. ^ U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 648,519, Manure Distributor and Spreader for Joseph Oppenheim, Maria Stein, Ohio, Filed February 17, 1900. See also,”Avco New Idea Marks 70th Anniversary,” Avco New Idea Dealer News. Vol 15, No. 10, October 1969, p.2.
  19. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part1”
  20. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company… Part 1".
  21. ^ Birt, “New Idea; Its Start:...” p. 19.
  22. ^ For photographs of Oppenheim’s “widespread” new idea see: “New Idea Celebrates 100th Anniversary,” Mercer County Chronicle, September 2–8, 1999, p.9 ; See also: “100th Anniversary, A Century of Excellence, New Idea 1899-1999,” Pamphlet, AGCO Corporation, pp. 1,3 and 4. (Compare with Kramer “manure unloader” in Knapp, “More Than One Person…”.). For additional pictures of the original New Idea Spreader see the company’s advertisement in a 1918 Country Gentleman Magazine containing a guarantee by B.C. Oppenheim at https://secure.flickr.com/photos/dok1/3417639257/ (accessed May 17, 2011) and the 1939 restoration at http://www.farmcollector.com/restoration/new-idea-manure-spreader.aspx (last accessed March 22, 2011).
  23. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start….” p.18.
  24. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start....” p. 18
  25. ^ “Henry Synck,”in Nevin O. Winter, Litt.D., History of Northwest Ohio, vol. 2 p. 824,at [4] (accessed May 17, 2011). Although Synck had been “employed by Kramer Brothers at low wages, he secured experience that was invaluable to him in later years...and in 1899, he entered the employ of Mr. Joseph Oppenheim of Maria Stein, and gradually familiarized himself with the technique of the business until he became one of the heads of the New Idea Spreader Company.”
  26. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p.18.The original name of the company was “The New Idea Spreader Works.” See also: B.C. Oppenheim, “My Father’s Help to the Farmer,” ‘’The Country Gentleman.’’ Vol LXXXII, Issue 42, Page 31, Nov. 17, 1917, at [5] (accessed May 17, 2011)
  27. ^ ,”Avco New Idea Marks 70th Anniversary,” Avco New Idea Dealer News, Vol 15, No. 10, October 1969, p.4.
  28. ^ ,”Avco New Idea Marks 70th Anniversary,” p.2.
  29. ^ ”The New Idea Spreader Company,”in Nevin O. Winter, Litt.D., History of Northwest Ohio, vol. 3, p.1673,at [6] (accessed May 17, 2011). states “At [Oppenheim’s] death his widow [Anna Mary Oppenheim, b. 1861, d. 1907] received $3000 life insurance and she courageously placed this amount at the disposal of the business. It was a remarkable instance of business courage on the part of a woman who had no other source of income. The results justified her confidence. At her death in 1907 the business was continued by her six children....” See also: B.C. Oppenheim, “My Father’s Help to the Farmer,” ‘’The Country Gentleman.’’ Vol LXXXII Issue 42 Page 31, Nov. 17, 1917, at [7] (accessed May 17, 2011)
  30. ^ “Bernard C. Oppenheim,” in Nevin O. Winter, Litt.D., ‘’History of Northwest Ohio,’’ vol.3, p. 1671 at [8] (accessed May 17, 2011) “Bernard C. ... was left in charge of the sales, promotion and financial end of the New Idea Spreader Company ...Young Oppenheim gave every hour of the day to hard labor in the plant and for many years continued office work in the evening.” Photograph of Bernard C. Oppenheim preceding page 1671 [9] (accessed May 17, 2011). Also see: “100th Anniversary, A Century of Excellence, New Idea 1899-1999” Pamphlet, AGCO Corporation 1999, p.5.
  31. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p.18. Also see: "New Idea Spreader Company," in Winter, ‘’History of Northwest Ohio,’’ Vol 3, p. 1672. at [10](accessed May 17, 2011) stating, “The New Idea spreader ... is radically different in construction from others which had been in use prior thereto. Its special feature is that it is a “widespread” machine. At first it inevitably encountered prejudice...because ...it was so completely different from the machines farmers had been accustomed to. However, the New Idea spreader demonstrated its capacity for better work, and ...soon... became dominant and competitors were obliged to change their machines or cease business altogether.”
  32. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 1”; U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 712,581 Manure Spreader for Anna Mary Oppenheim, Executor, Maria Stein, Ohio, Filed Nov. 4. 1902.
  33. ^ “New Idea Development,” Celina Daily Standard, August 27, 1999, page 7A, Sidebar.
  34. ^ ”Three Generations: The Story of New Idea. Our 60th Anniversary Year,” Pamphlet,, AVCO: Coldwater, Ohio , 1959, p.4. See also: “Avco New Idea Marks 70th Anniversary,”, p. 4. B.C. Oppenheim managed the Coldwater plant with 25 employees, Henry Synck ran the Maria Stein plant with 40 employees. Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p.19.
  35. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part1” The two railroads in Coldwater were the Lake Erie and Western that later became the Nickel Plate Railroad and the Cincinnati Northern Railway (a north-south line from Franklin in Warren County, Ohio to Jackson, Michigan) abandoned in 1936. See: Mercer County Chronicle, July 19, 1940, “In 1907 the company’s [New Idea Spreader Company.] plant was moved from a neighboring village without a railroad to Coldwater, through which a railroad goes north and south and one east and west.” reprinted in Mercer County Chronicle, “Coldwater…The Sesquicentennial Celebration” Section 3, page 13 July 28, 1988; Mark J. Camp, Railroad Depots of West Central Ohio, p. 35, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S.C., 2005
  36. ^ Three Generations: The Story of New Idea. Our 60th Anniversary Year," p.4. See also: “Avco New Idea Marks 70th Anniversary,” p. 4. Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p. 19.
  37. ^ The "New Idea Spreader Company” in Winter, History of Northwest Ohio, vol.3, p.. 1673. See 1916 advertisement listing U.S. and Canadian branches in “One Million Farmers Will Read This Book.” The Country Gentleman, Vol LXXXI, page 2172, December 16, 1916, [11] (accessed May 17, 2011) at page 2172.
  38. ^ Tharran E. Gaines “100 Years of New Ideas,” FieldHAND, Spring 1999, p.9
  39. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p.19 In 1926 the company sold over 10,000 spreaders, and over 17,000 spreaders in 1927. Wells “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 1”
  40. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company, Part 1"; Also see: “New Idea Spreader Company," in Winter, History of Northwest Ohio, Vol. 3, p. 1673. stating that in 1917 "the business is owned by the six Oppenheim heirs who also own all the stock in the Canadian corporation.” In 1917 B.C. Oppenheim, then 31 years old, “was the senior officer managing sales and financing .The manufacturing department comprising purchasing, design and manufacturing was under Henry Synck, the husband of Wilhelmina Oppenheim.” Also see: Certificate of Partnership, Shelby County, Indiana dated April 18, 1918 [12] (accessed May 17, 2011)indicating that “the only persons engaged in said business [New Idea Spreader Co.] or having an interest in it “ were B.C. Oppenheim, J.A. Oppenheim, Theodore Oppenheim, Justin Oppenheim, Wilhelmina Oppenheim Synck, and Cecilia Oppenheim Selhorst."
  41. ^ “New Idea Plans Stock Issue,” New York Times, April 7, 1937 indicating that New Idea would issue 65,000 shares of common stock. See also: “Curb Admits Two Stocks,” New York Times, May 13, 1938 indicating that New Idea’s stock would begin to be traded on the New York Curb Exchange.
  42. ^ Birt, “New Idea: Its Start…” p.19
  43. ^ Mercer County Chronicle, September 8, 1999 p.9, noting that the “The common stock of the New Idea Spreader Company was owned by the officers, all of whom worked in the factory and office. B.C. Oppenheim, President and General Sales Manager, Henry Synck [son-in-law of Joseph Oppenheim], Vice President and Factory Manager, T.H. Oppenheim, Secretary, Joseph A. Oppenheim Treasurer, Justin. H. Oppenheim, Assistant Sales Manager, Ben Selhorst [son-in-law of Joseph Oppenheim], Director.” See also: Sophia Synck Bomholt, “Memories of New Idea,” Mercer County Chronicle, September 4, 1988. Interestingly, the Mercer County Chronicle, September 8, 1999, p.9 reports that the Silver Anniversary booklet issued by the company says, “No fancy salaries, no expensive official idlers” New Idea Company Silver Anniversary Booklet 1924.
  44. ^ “Scope Broadened by Aviation Corp.," New York Times, October 30, 1945 stating that AVCO “will purchase slightly over 50% of New Idea’s outstanding shares from the four managing officers of the company, Henry Synck and J.A, J.H. and T.H. Oppenheim” and “Mr. Synck will be retained as a consultant and director and each of the Messrs. Oppenheim will remain officers and directors." See also:”New Idea Development,” Celina Daily Standard, August 27, 1999, page 7A, Sidebar. See also:Brian Wayne Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company (part 2 of 2 Parts)” Belt/Pulley Magazine, Vol.11, No.6, November/December 1998, Part 2, http://wellssouth.com/blog/?p=83 (accessed Nov. 8, 2010). AVCO, founded in 1928 as The Aviation Corporation, is now a subsidiary of Textron. In 1950, the last entirely orange wagon with green wheels and the New Idea motto, “Invention, Leadership, Quality,” rolled out of the Coldwater facility. The serial number of the wagon was 11,398 and the lot number was W-108. Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 2”
  45. ^ New Idea Development,” Celina Daily Standard, August 27, 1999, page 7A, Sidebar. See also: Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 2”
  46. ^ Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company … Part 2”. AGCO is the Allis-Gleaner Corporation, a manufacturer of agricultural equipment. http://www.agcocorp.co./company/history.aspx (accessed December 8, 2010).
  47. ^ PR Newswire, December 8, 1999. “1999 AGCO To Close Its Coldwater, Ohio Facility Lockney, Texas Plant to Cease Production by Second Quarter The Free Library(December, 8), http://www.thefreelibrary.com/AGCO To Close Its Coldwater, Ohio Facility Lockney, Texas Plant to...-a058077591(accessed November 21, 2010)”
  48. ^ Mercer County Chronicle, September 4, 1969, page 1; See also: Ohio Agricultural Council, 4th Annual Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, August 27, 1969. Program page 7.
  • Joseph Oppenheim, Educator and Inventor (March 1, 1859 – November 24, 1901)

List of References[edit]

  • Mark J. Camp, Railroad Depots of West Central Ohio, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S.C. 2005, p. 35.
  • U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 648,519, Manure Distributor and Spreader for Joseph Oppenheim, Maria Stein, Ohio, Filed February 17, 1900.
  • U.S. Patent Office, Patent No. 712,581 Manure Spreader for Anna Mary Oppenheim, Executor, Maria Stein, Ohio, Filed Nov. 4. 1902.
  • Tharran E. Gaines, “100 Years of New Ideas,” FieldHAND, Spring 1999, p. 8
  • New York Times
  • “New Idea Plans Stock Issue,” New York Times, April 7, 1937
  • “Curb Admits Two Stocks,” New York Times, May 13, 1938
  • “Scope Broadened by Aviation Corp.,” New York Times, October 30, 1945
  • Mercer County [Ohio] Chronicle
  • “Joseph Oppenheim Would Be 100 Sunday,” Mercer County Chronicle-Journal, February 26, 1959 page 1
  • “New Idea Founder Inducted In Agricultural Hall of Fame,” Mercer County Chronicle, September 4, 1969 page 1.
  • “Coldwater Sesquicentennnial Edition,” Mercer County Chronicle, July 28, 1988
  • Sophia Synck Bomholt, “Memories of New Idea,” Mercer County Chronicle, September 4, 1988.
  • Ivan Knapp, “More than one person invented the Manure Spreader,” Mercer County Chronicle, July 22, 1999, p. 1
  • Ivan Knapp, “The Teacher With a New Idea,”,” Mercer County Chronicle, July 29, 1999, p. 4
  • “7000 People Attend New Idea’s 100th Anniversary Celebration,” Mercer County Chronicle, September 2–8, 1999, p. 1
  • “New Idea Celebrates 100th Anniversary,” Mercer County Chronicle, September 2–8, 1999, p. 9
  • Celina (Ohio) Daily Standard
  • Cindy Birt, “New Idea, Its Start and the First 75 Years,” Celina Daily Standard, May 16, 1974, pp. 18–19.
  • “New Idea Development,” Celina Daily Standard, August 27, 1999, page 7A, Sidebar.
  • Richard Payerchin, “Idea Becomes Village Mainstay,” Celina Daily Standard, August 27, 1999. Page 7A.
  • Brian Wayne Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company of Coldwater, Ohio,(Part 1 of 2 Parts)” Belt/Pulley Magazine, Vol.11, No. 5, September/October 1998, Part 1, p. 1, http://wellssouth.com/blog/?p=83 (accessed Nov. 8, 2010)
  • Brian Wayne Wells, “The New Idea Spreader Company (Part 2 of 2 Parts)” Belt/Pulley Magazine, Vol.11, No.6, November/December 1998, http://wellssouth.com/blog/?p=83 (accessed Nov. 8, 2010).
  • Ohio Agricultural Council, 4th Annual Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame, August 27, 1969. Program page 7
  • Fred Heckman, “Early Manure Spreader History: Particularly of New Idea,” Pamphlet, Coldwater, Ohio, July, 1939, p. 4,
  • New Idea Company Silver Anniversary Booklet, Pamphlet, New Idea Co: Coldwater, Ohio, 1924.
  • Three Generations, The Story of New Idea” “Our 60th Year,” Pamphlet, AVCO, Coldwater, Ohio 1959, pp 1 &2.
  • “Avco New Idea Marks 70th Anniversary,” Avco New Idea Dealer News, Vol. 15, No. 10, October 1969, p. 2
  • “100th Anniversary, A Century of Excellence, New Idea 1899-1999,” Pamphlet, AGCO Corporation 1999, p. 3