History of Our Publications

At the Fall meeting in Holland, MI, October 1-2, 1971, the Board of Directors of Mid-West Tool Collectors Association (M-WTCA) decided to publish a newsletter. It would be published quarterly and consist of the following three function.

  1. Inform the membership of all decisions by the Board.
  2. Keep members informed as to the business decisions taken.
  3. Inform the members of all pertinent news related to M-WTCA by the Board.

Laurent Torno became the first editor and his desire was the newsletter would “be a vehicle for utilizing the great potential resources we have as a group to contribute in substantial ways to an understanding and preservation of the history of American technology.”

At the May 3, 1974 meeting at Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, IN, The Gristmill was born. Bill Holden was selected to be the first editor. As the founder and one of the charter members of the association, he was in a capable position to give the membership the news that they wanted. Bill listed the kinds of information that would be included:

  1. Announcements of meetings, dates, locations, programs, etc.
  2. Recaps of both local and general meetings
  3. Announcements of any noteworthy event; tool sales or auction; member’s collections being on display in local museums, etc.
  4. Personal items – announcements of births, weddings, deaths or any recognition given to any member of their families
  5. Any other information that we feel would be of informative value to our members

Thus began our publication, initially called The Scribe and after 5 issues, became The Gristmill. What started as a 4 page hand typed “newsletter” has transitioned into a 50 plus page, full color magazine! The September, 2019 issue was # 176!!

We wish to thank David Heckel, who edited “The Best of The Gristmill – The First Twenty-five Years 1974-1999” which was published by Mid West Tool Collectors Association in October 2000 for this summary information!