In the early days, most of the heavy equipment did not come with instructions. You were expected to know how to use the equipment before you bought it. If the equipment was complicated, sometimes the salesman would give a short demo and sometimes the factory would offer a training class. For most of the small equipment, Instruction Manuals or “basic information sheets” were provided.
In most instances, after World War II, manufacturers started providing Operation and Maintenance Manuals. Not only did this provide information on the operation of the machine, it also provided information on oiling, adjusting, spare parts and general maintenance.
Many manuals for old equipment are availabe on line.
(I have several PDF’s that I will post here for download)