Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

tull-williams

The Whiz Kid

Response to full-page ads running every month in Chainsaw Age, starting in 1959 by Tull-Williams and subsequently Stihl America continued to pay rich dividends. The single warehouse phone virtually rang off the wall with calls from established Stihl distributors placing orders and those wishing to become distributors for Stihl. Joe Minarik, Mock, by then working part-time for Stihl America took the initiative to have a second phone line installed. Gordon, then being held accountable to a budget with the Stihl’s, a 40% partner, fired Joe for what he thought an extravagant expense. The following day a container of saws arrived… Continue reading

Stihl American Blog 6 – The Serendipitous Intentional Misinterpretation

DOC051316-05132016113233-p1aill85p0q04h5612r31fb69dr - CopyThe Stihl D24 “Super-Lightening”, also known as the Contra, was a magnificent machine—light, fast and; relative to other brands, dependable—at least that’s how they’re remembered. Early Stihl owners, much like dogmatic Harley owners, are sometimes given to a memory that simultaneously exaggerates and diminishes facts. That is, the good is amplified marginally beyond reality and the bad is expunged.

Nearly all brands of saws of the Super-Lightening era had perpetual technical problems. Taking the saw to the log meant taking the saw to dirtier conditions, running the saws in all positions, and naturally, there was demand for more power—all of… Continue reading

Stihl in America – Blog 4 – Persistence

It was men such as Gordon Williams who inspired Norman Vincent Peale to pen “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Gordon, the positive thinker and quintessential relationship builder, immediately reached out to those with whom he was familiar from his days at Estate Equipment and certain to be interested in handling a fine line of precision crafted chainsaws–Stihls. He proudly informed them that he had officially been appointed Stihl’s agent for America. Al Tull, their mentor and silent business partner, provided the operation with temporary warehouse space and walked them through the filings necessary to import product from Germany. Al, near… Continue reading

Stihl in America Blog 2

At possibly the same time that Andreas Stihl was making his trek across Canada, Gordon Williams was playing football at Ridgewood High in Ridgewood, NJ. His teammates included several who would eventually join him selling Stihl at Stihl America, but that would be nearly twenty years later. Much would occur between Gordon’s high school football days, Andreas’ tenacious trek across Canada, and Stihl America–the most significant being WWII.

Ridgewood High Football Team

Ridgewood High Football Team

In the meantime, Andreas’ many successful sales trips resulted in dramatic growth for A. Stihl Manufacturing in Stuttgart, Germany. Pictured is Andreas standing proudly with his team of… Continue reading

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