I have a theory on how many multi-generational farms/ranches operate.
There are always exceptions to the rule, but it seems like many farmers never want to throw anything away as there might be another use for this item in the future. Now, I don't know if this is something producers learned from their parents or grandparents who survived the Great Depression with little, but it just seems like nothing is wasted on most farms.
This would certainly be the case on our family farm. We have a couple buildings and a tree line with items most people would consider as useless items and from a distance that might seem true -- except for the one time you save a trip to town when the old stuff comes in handy.
The downside to having this "on-farm storage" of things would be someone at some point of time is going to have clean up this stuff. This is the setting for our Vintage Iron letter this week from Fred Knop of Atlantic, Iowa:
"I have attached photos of a cast iron implement seat that I found in the back corner of a shop building on our 125-plus-year Century farm. My wife and I recently inherited this farm, but I grew up on this farm from age 4 to 21. My wife and I then married and we purchased a farm 5 miles down the road.
"My dad farmed this land until his retirement in 1992. Dad and I helped each other farm over the years owning equipment together. Then my wife and I began farming this particular farm following Dad's retirement.
"I know almost every square foot of the Century farm and was stunned to find this old implement seat in the back corner of a shop. I do not recall my dad, his brothers or my granddad mentioning this seat during my tenure on the Century farm the last 67 years.
"I have reviewed hundreds of antique implement seats on various internet pages but have yet to find a match. The underside of the seat may have a slight reddish cast. As you can see, there is a slot enabling the seat to be moved forward and back as necessary.
"Have you seen this type of seat over your years of viewing antique and vintage iron? It is the narrowness of the seat compared to other cast iron seats that sets this seat apart from many I have looked at. I do not find any casting marks or identifying features of any kind.
"Thank you. Keep up the good work on DTN!"
Thanks to Fred for the letter. Without any markings on the seat, I have no idea what this could be from -- hopefully someone reading this column will have an idea.
It is interesting when you clean out farm building what exactly you can find. I know when we moved to the farm we are now, just about 25 years ago now, I discovered some things I had never seen before.
Among the items was a smaller toolbox with a stamped "IHC" on the lid. The box was in good shape for its age -- probably because it was in an old bucket on a shelf in one of sheds for decades.
I asked my dad where this came from originally. He thought it came off an old International binder that my great-grandpa owned many years ago; he remembered it sitting in the trees when he was a kid growing up on my grandparent's farm.
Another interesting find as we cleaned out the building was a fairly good-sized glass bulb which was in my grandparent's milking parlor. The milk was pumped into the pipeline, through this glass bulb (there may have been more) before going into milk tank in the other room.
Again, this bulb was set in a five-gallon bucket up on a shelf in the one shed that never was disturbed for years. I can't believe it survived three moves without being broken, although maybe that's the reason why there is only one left.
What is the most interesting thing you have every found in one of your buildings that you didn't know you had? I look forward to reading some responses.
Also, please let me know if you recognize Fred's implement seat. Hopefully we can help him out, I will run an update in next month's column.
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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