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American Tools in Germany - Chicago Journal of Commerce & Metal Industries, 12/26/1896

 

United States Commercial Agency, Furth, Bavaria, November 10, 1896. W. S. Hemby, Esq., Editor Chicago Journal of Commerce:

Dear Sir:

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of the 22d ult., requesting an article on the "Opportunities for American Machinery and Metal Goods" in this country, for publication in your special edition of the 26th December.

In reply I beg to state that it would give me pleasure to furnish you such an article, but the notice is too short to do justice to the question. To reach you in time for the issue named, the manuscript would have to leave here by to-day's mail. I shall, however, take advantage of your suggestion and some time in the near future take the liberty of sending you my views on the subject referred to.

The question of the introduction of American goods into foreign markets is, in my judgment, a very important one, and one that should be treated most carefully.

I have seen it stated by an American newspaper discussing this question that we should wait and see what the people want and then make the effort to supply that want. While this, in the sense I understand it, may sometimes be true, it is, however, by no means a rule that can be applied to all cases.

He who goes out and turns something up is always infinitely more successful than the fellow who waits for something to turn up, and the American manufacturer who takes his goods into the foreign market and there submits them to the people for inspection and examination is bound to be a hundred-fold more successful than he who remains at home and waits until the merit which his goods possess, or something else, shall find for them a market.

If people have no idea that a certain article exists, there surely can be no demand among them for that article. They want an article only when they have seen it or heard of it and learned of its use and advantage to them.

The following will, perhaps, illustrate my meaning: This morning I watched a mechanic in a new building in my neighborhood ripping a long board with a saw made precisely after the pattern of an American common wood saw - the large square frame and all.

As the saw part- went down the middle of the board, the frame part slid along on the outside edge. The operation was slow, tedious and awkward, but upon inquiry I found this to be the only kind of hand saw known to the mechanics here.

Now, there is no demand here for American rip saws, but if that mechanic could see a light, handy, quick-cutting American hand saw, it is needless to tell me that he would not want one.

My point is, then, that the American manufacturer should not wait until a demand for his goods comes to him from the foreign market, but, on the other hand, that he should take or send his goods into that market, and thereby create for them a demand.

Very truly and respectfully,

HENRY C. CARPENTER, United States Commercial Agent

10/09/2011

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