Out of the World War came many interesting by-products—high prices, high wages, different modes of living and a general lack of economy. However, one thing which emanated but which has been overlooked to a certain extent is the vast amount of valuable used materials which were employed by the government to further our cause.
Many have criticized the government for disposing of enormous, war enterprises at figures which appear to be ridiculously low. The ships and shipyards were sold for a small fraction of their original costs. Munition and other plants went “for a song.” But one rarely looks back to the time when these were built, appreciating or considering the high cost of production at that time. In 1917-18 the cost was small compared to the need.
Today these valuable materials are being offered to the enterprising manufacturer at very low prices. Some government plants are offered for sale on a retail basis. Others are being disposed of through reputable dealers who bought from the government in wholesale lots. Whatever the manner of distribution it matters little as the material is equally good.
Among this material, equipment and machine tools are to be found the necessary things to fulfill the production requirements of manufacturers in nearly every line of endeavor.
Writing Off Entire Depreciation Does Not Always Mean That The Machine Is Obsolete
Good business men do not allow money to stand idle. It is poor business practice to allow machinery to stand idle and deteriorate. We are still in a period of readjustment and the business houses of this country would be wise in taking into consideration their surplus machinery and material problem at this time. Five hundred dollars for a machine which might bring $1,000 two years from now is a better business proposition than letting it stand idle and hoping that someone will pay the larger price. It seems that in order to be a successful business enterprise it is necessary not only to have a production and merchandising instinct, but a trading instinct as well. Idle machinery is dead capital and therefore should be placed in operation as quickly as possible.
Many concerns have been writing off the depreciation on their machinery for a number of years and in many cases have written off the original cost of the equipment. As long as the machinery is serviceable and will bring higher than junk prices it would be wise for the business man to try to get as much as he can get of this idle equipment which may be good for many more years of service. In a great industrial center like the United States there is usually some place where seemingly obsolete materials or machinery can be used. SURPLUS RECORD has undertaken the job of helping to solve this problem, thereby keeping machinery and materials in active operation.