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First Organization For Hay Tool Collectors
If you've got a fondness for antique hay tools, pulleys and other barn accessories, check out the newly formed National Hay Tool Collectors Association. Membership is free. Their newsletter promises a wagon load of information about hay tools, swap meets and other gatherings, and lists items for sale or trade.
"Lots of collectors are familiar with hay tools produced in their state or region, but have no access to information on hay tools from other areas. Designs varied from one region to another. The newsletter will help members learn about hay tools from other regions," says Doug de Shazer, a founding member.
He describes himself as an accidental collector. After he admired a pulley at a swap meet, a friend bought it for him. By the end of the meet, he recalls carrying 13 pulleys to his car. Six years later, he has more than 200 pulleys, 130 carriers and many added accessories.
"The design and engineering of the pulleys and carriers is what attracts me," says de Shazer. "They were so ornate and detailed for something that sat in the peak of the barn most of the year and was rarely seen. The pride in workmanship was incredible."
He adds that observing how designs changed over time is equally interesting. He notes that carriers developed in the early 1800's were light and more delicate. By the early 1900's, they were much stronger and able to lift 1,000 lbs. or more.
"Research was all done in the field," he says. "When a model broke, the next generation would be heavier or reinforced. Thus, the early models will be harder to find because they tended to break."
He and Steve Weeber of Iowa City, Iowa, first conceived of an association a year ago. They have since sent out hundreds of letters to known collectors and are now broadening their search.
"We feel that members will be able to learn from each other, share information and find out about farm shows and events held in different areas of the country," says de Shazer.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, National Hay Tool Collectors Association, 55005 897 Rd., Crofton, Neb. 68730 (ph 402 510-8845; haytoolcollector@yahoo.com; lcpulleymuseum@yahoo.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3