Russ' Vintage Iron

More on Vintage Seats, Vintage Ads

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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We may have solved the mystery of what this seat was off of. (Photo courtesy of Fred Knop)

Several months ago, we had an Iowa farmer tell us about finding some vintage iron seats in a building on his farm. He was asking for some help identifying them and sent us this picture.

Maybe this will help:

"Hi Russ,

"I was wondering if you got any response to your column about the old implement seat. I showed the picture to a very knowledgeable local man who has an extensive collection.

"Our best guess is that it may have come off a horse-drawn cultivator. There was a type that was pulled by two horses, and it straddled one row.

"The cultivator gangs hung down and had stirrups so the operator could steer them as close to the rows as possible for maximum weeding.

"I remember that my grandfather had one and I operated it, which was a chore. That was many decades ago, and I don't remember the brand or the type of seat. The design of the seat in your picture, with the very narrow front, suggests that this was done to give more freedom of movement to the operator's legs.

"The two half circle cutouts in the front part of the seat were sometimes referred to as an "ox foot." In general, implements had cast iron seats from 1850 to 1900 and after that, pressed steel seats became more common.

"There is a Cast Iron Seat Collector's Association, and I believe you can find them on Facebook. And I believe the president of the association is Mr. Tom Wilson from northeast Iowa and his phone number is (563) 210-6836."

Howard Myers

Lawrenceville, NJ

Thanks to Howard for the interesting information about the vintage iron seats. Hopefully this helps solve the mystery of what kind of seat it was.


Vintage Iron Ads

In this column, I have written about interesting vintage iron items I have come across on social media, mainly Twitter. I have shared interesting equipment I come across, fascinating ideas for vintage farm items, etc.

While I know it has been there for some time, I never really looked in the Marketplace section on Facebook much before. My oldest son was telling me to search for a John Deere 730 tractor that was for sale one time recently and, since then, I have seen quite a few vintage tractors listed on it.

I have been surprised by the amount of farm equipment, both vintage and newer, on Marketplace. I'm guessing it must be set up to pull up ads from your general area as nearly all of the ads I have seen are either in eastern Nebraska or western Iowa.

With vintage iron, I have seen just about every make from the popular tractor manufacturers for sale. There has been a two-cylinder John Deere as well as the New Generation series, and there have been older IH tractors as well as the muscle tractors of the 1960s/1970s; Olivers, Allis-Chambers and Case machinery.

One thing my son pointed out to me is the price for IH Farmall Hs seemed to be lower than other brands of tractors. I don't know if there is a high supply of these tractors pushing demand (and thus price) down, but there appear to be many decent-priced Hs.

And it is not just farm machinery but sometimes vintage farm buildings. There was someone with an ad offering to sell any old farm building off a farm.

I noticed it because one of the buildings for sale was a cement block milking parlor very similar to the one on my grandparent's farm. You see these old buildings every now and then in our area. I have a mental checklist of local similar buildings but obviously very few are used anymore.

These online farm ads have essentially replaced the classified ads in newspapers for people of a certain age. When I was kid, you would get the local Sunday paper (in our case the Omaha World Herald) and there would be many pages or at least columns of farm ads in the paper to thumb through.

Now everyone turns to other sources of farm ads -- mainly from the internet.

I guess I don't really have a strong opinion either way but one advantage these online ads do have is the ability to include photos and even video. This would probably save some time for folks looking for machinery.

So, excuse me so I can go back to Marketplace and look at more vintage iron.

Russ Quinn can be reached at

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