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I enhanced the seller's crappy photo some to show a little better detail.

That little history cited from Roger Stowers' website possibly contains a grain of truth, but Stowers gets the first name wrong and misspells the last name of the actual founder of the Mayville Engineering Company, Ted Bachhuber.

If anyone actually took Acme's design it was probably Leo Bachhuber, who convinced cousin Ted to go into business with him.

You can get the straight story on MEC and Bachhuber here:

History of MEC

Profile of MEC Founder Ted Bachhuber

Nothing is mentioned, of course, about the MEC design being ripped off from Acme, but many famous companies have their beginnings in copied designs and ideas from other people or companies.

You can look at this loader and see it's quite different from a MEC. It doesn't take much of a design change to maneuver around a product's patent protection.

The Texan reloader was designed and manufactured by one person, whose name escapes me, and that design was no doubt copied from someone else's -- maybe MEC's.

But if Cousin Leo actually did copy the MEC reloader design somewhat from Acme, then this reloader would be at least an interesting, if not slightly valuable, piece of reloader history.

And even if there's no relationship whatsoever to MEC, the Acme is still worth something to some collector.

And in about four days and 10 hours from this moment we'll find out exactly how much.

 

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From Case's links: "In 1955, MEC ventured into the shotshell reloader market, largely due to Ted Bachhuber's interest in sport shooting."

Does anyone know what MEC manufactured from 1945-1955 if they only started making shotshell reloaders in 1955?

Just curious- I've always thought they ave always only made shotshell loaders.
 

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MEC has always been a contract mechanization facility, basically, you want something built to do a specific job that isn't available------they will build it or die trying.

Their big thing is hydraulic lifts------ya know, you see these 4 wheel cart things that are built on a scissor-lift----caged for personel with controls in the cage? And all types thereof.
 

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It's a huge company now, doing business worldwide.

You have to read the whole history to see that early-on reloaders had nothing to do with the business, which wasn't even named MEC.

The span of 10 years before the reloader division was begun and the fact that cousin Leo left the company early in the partnership leads me to believe Roger Stowers' story is probably frought with error.

However, the following paragraph from Ted's biography hints at skullduggery in the early days of the company, but not necessarily any low dealings by the firm itself:

The early days were very difficult according to Ted. "Every day we kept the doors open was a victory." The early challenges read like a spy novel about espionage and double-dealings. A major setback occurred when the only four employees were stolen away by another local firm, leaving Ted and Grace on their own. "A few of the early stories would be very embarrassing to some people, so we better skip over them," Ted explained. Suffice it to say there were some who were actively working to victimize the company and see it disappear.

Fact is, it would be a rare company among today's biggies that didn't involve some shady dealings and design-theft in its early days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Case - As usual, you have brought a great deal of good information to the discussion.

I'm sure hard proof of any kind of concept-theft is never going to materialize. MEC is happily producing quailty reloaders and ACME is long dead.

Do people really have reloader collections? It seems like quite the path of americana to follow.
 

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Cleric said:
Do people really have reloader collections? It seems like quite the path of americana to follow.
People will collect literally anything -- from matchbooks to bar napkins to old tractors to reloading and shooting memorabilia to... well, anything, ad nauseum.

I have three of the vintage nutcracker-type shotshell reloaders and a couple of relatively pricey antique trap machines -- all acquired off eBay at probably more than any of them was worth.

Why?

I have no idea nor clue except to blame it on an inherited genetic defect, but I caught myself in the act of bidding on some old powder measure scoops one day and suddenly woke up more sensible.

"Self," I said to myself, "what the hell are you gonna do with those things when you've already got a house so junked up you can barely get to the bathroom?"

That was the end of my interest in shooting and firearms memorabilia -- or any other ancient crap I can't actually and immediately put to use.

But I still have a tortuous path to the bathroom.
 

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Toootleee..TOOT...de dooooooooo!

And likesno SNIPES the auction at a cliff-hanging 10 seconds before the closing bell...

...leaving whackaquacker, warthogcoffee and two other also-ran halfwits holding empty shopping bags and probably breathing huge sighs of relief that someone on the planet was actually dumber -- or richer -- than they at the conclusion of this conspicuous example of insane consumerism, proving once again that he with the most money and the silliest idea of what to do with it will triumph in the exciting world of useless, high-dollar collectibles.

And now this musty old box of bug-eaten -- totally UNRELOADABLE -- shotshell hulls is free to progress to the next auction and a greater fool with even more money.

And the folks at Sotheby's are licking their chops in anticipation...
 

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Just curious Mark, what didja have to pay for that. Evidently Case knows, an thinks you paid to much. :lol: :lol:

I collect too, except that I collect Stanley hand planes. (I'm a woodworker too) I have also paid some outrageous prices for planes that I though I just had to have. :oops: :lol: (like a $1,000.00 for one plane.) :oops:
 

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I looked at the price on ebay..........GULP, $17,100.00. :shock:

Did you buy em Mark????????? :wink: :roll:
 

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EyeMissum said:
Did you buy em Mark?????????
ME??!! :shock: Noooooo sir. Wadaya think, I'm both nuts and made of money?

None of the above. :lol:

Remember, I'm the guy who had to think hard about spending $900 on that tubed 101. :oops:
 

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EyeMissum said:
(like a $1,000.00 for one plane.) :oops:
Peanuts, Don -- get serious.

There's gotta be a plane out there somewhere on which you could piss away at least five grand.

(All this is making my very rare, highly collectible vintage trap machines in mint condition, one at a hundred bucks, the other $220, seem like gifts from the unenlightened.)

BTW: Mark wouldn't throw away money on something as frivolous as that. He's too busy flim-flamming Gander Mountain out of AAs at sub-wholesale prices.
 

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Case said:
BTW: Mark... He's too busy flim-flamming Gander Mountain out of AAs at sub-wholesale prices.
HEY!! :x They MADE me do that. In fact they almost begged me to take their money. :mrgreen:
 

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Auction just ended -- no takers.

If the seller had put antique, collectible, vintage or somesuch descriptive words in his title he'd probably have generated some interest.

But he didn't - and drew only people looking for current, workable reloaders.

How do you spell D-U-M-B?
 

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TexasTon said:
MEC has always been a contract mechanization facility, basically, you want something built to do a specific job that isn't available------they will build it or die trying.

Their big thing is hydraulic lifts------ya know, you see these 4 wheel cart things that are built on a scissor-lift----caged for personel with controls in the cage? And all types thereof.
Very intersting info on MEC, I grew up in Appleton, knew about MEC but not in the details you listed. Been to Mayville many times, very small farm community and MEC obviously is a huge presence.
Jim
 
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