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Are there many guys collecting manuals? Evolution of the hobby.

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I was patrolling eBay and noticed that Fordhook2000 (who I don't think is a member here) has been posting a lot of manuals for sale.  Some of them are in much better shape than the huge piles I've amassed over the last 20 years and he's offering them at what look like to me below market prices.  A lot of it is quite rare and catches me by surprise that it's out there and available.

 

Years ago it was virtually impossible to find this stuff unless you stumbled upon a dealership that was going belly up.  Now I see this stuff on eBay.  But the really old stuff is quite scarce and all of a sudden it's popping up courtesy of a few auction listings.

 

It got me to wonder how my hobby focus has changed.

 

Are there many of you that collect manuals?

 

I was compiling pretty much a complete run of paper from 1956 through the early 1980's.  Wheel Horse printed a lot of paper, but this is the type of thing that isn't really that easy to come by.  I don't collect rare books or Gutenburg Bibles, but it strikes me that these are the things that ought to be pretty much universally in demand.

 

But are they?

 

If you're not collecting the paper, why not?

 

I asking from a somewhat selfish standpoint.  I've spent a lot of time (and money!) collecting old manuals, brochures, and other stuff.  I didn't enter into any of this with the desire to ever consider it any kind of investment, but I'm wondering what others think.  To me, it's really neat to have the paperwork that might have been included with a tractor when it rolled out the door.  It's even more cool when you buy from the original owner and they hand you the packet that they saved for decades.

 

Copies don't really do the same thing for me as do the old, original prints.

 

 

I've been doing this WH nonsense for over 20 years.  I can't believe it's been that long.  We've seen the internet rise in that time.  Forums have come and gone.  Lots of familiar faces and voices in the crowd have also gone by the wayside.  Things are much easier to find today than ever before.  But the cropping up of this huge cache of paper takes me by surprise.

 

Trying to generate discussion...and see if the hobby is evolving or changing.  what do you think?

 

 

Steve

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Have a few original manuals I like looking at them from time to time I don't really buy them but I've been lucky enough to get a few horses from original owners and have the paper with them 657,856,commando 8

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Steve, you know we're kindred spirits... packrats by nature and have a deep fascination with the history behind Wheel Horse, not just the machines themselves.  I was a paper collector for a long time myself. Had most of a 4 drawer filing cabinet full of it. I've slowly and for the most part quietly dispatched most of the collection out to other collectors. I really latched onto the yahoo manuals groups many years ago (back when there were only two or three of them!) and was/(am) co-owner of them with Garry and Buzz. I scanned everything I had and shared it. There's a good many of the PDF manuals disseminating through the interwebs that are scans from my collection.

 

Once they were out there in PDF form, I felt no compelling desire to hold onto the physical paper. It was just weight pressing the filing cabinet into a deeper dent in the carpet, and besides, I never dared to use them for reference. If I wanted to look up anything, it was just as fast to pull them up on the computer, and I had no danger of damaging my precious originals! I've still got some, mostly just for the tractors/attachments that I still physically have in the collection. I do also have quite a few original old ads too, mostly from magazines from the 50s/60s/70s. Ads, spec books, things like that I've scanned as well, but still hang on to them.

 

By the way... that "picture" project I told you about is ever so slowly making progress. Been mostly on hold for real life that so often gets in the way! 

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I have gone from a high of 42 Wheel Horse tractors and tons of attachments and parts down to one 520Xi with a 52" mower deck. I still have a closet full of original manuals though. I find the manuals much cheaper to maintain. :)

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Jason,

 

I didn't know you had involvement in those manuals groups.  Neat!  CDM started a lot of resource sharing groups over there and I just assumed the manuals groups were part of his initial effort.  It's been so long I don't recall who did what.

 

It's amazing how long some of us have been screwing with this junk.

 

Jim,

 

I should take your lead.  I keep saying I'm going to do liquidate, but I just don't make the time.  I'm hoping that this will be the year that I finally start moving some things out the door.  I have a few "keepers" that will never leave (Lever, Senior, Rj35, 420LSE) but I have generally lost interest in having so much stuff.  I'm in the 40's too.  Want to make it more managable.  Problem is, I think guys have gotten cheaper!  Hate to take big losses just to make room, but might do it.  i also added some other colors to the fleet and find I like some of them as much as the horses.

 

Steve

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I try to get a manual for my toys, but have no attachment to the manuals. I let them go if/when I sell the machine. At 66, I have too much stuff accumulated!

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Thru out the years, yes I still snag a manual or two especially when the price is right. I've put together a pretty good collection.

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Someone up above mentioned old advertisements out of magazines. I would love to find some of those!! Everytime we go to an antique shop , I spend time going through the old magazines looking and hoping for an add. I think an add would look great in a frame and could be displayed much better than a manual. I do however have the orginal manuals that came with my raider 10 that has wheel horse and football tied together. Something like tough enough for this football team. I dont recall off hand what team it was though. I am not a huge sports fan. :hide:. Also have the manual that came with my 520H that talks about how it was baja tested with a picture of a muddy 520H. Those would make great pictures but I dont want to tear apart the manuals and books. Could make quality copies I guess.

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That is one of the things on Ebay that gripes me. If you go there to look for Wheel Horse parts and one of those guys has 4 pages of manuals on there you have to sort through all those to get to the parts. Those things should be in the books and magazine section and not the parts section. All though I did put up a couple manuals last week that I finally found in my stuff. So I guess I shouldn't complain.:angry-nono:

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As mentioned above, unless your a collector or are just plain OCD and "need" an original printed manual for a tractor........................Acrobat versions electronically of the manuals for actual reference and not collection is how a majority of people reference what they need when working on or looking up things for their tractors. Same applies to appliances, cars, boats, ATV's, etc. I like a print version to reference so if I need a schematic or parts blow up, I only print what I need to take out to the garage.

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I am a little odd in the regard of manuals. I love hard copies, and really don't like electronic at all. I try to get hard copies of all the tractors that I have, if an original didn't come with it.

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