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Antique Baler Collection Up For Sale
Known as “The Hay Man”, Bill Stockman has been custom-baling for most of his 70 years. This fall he has decided to sell more than 30 classic balers at an auction on his farm near Oxford, Iowa.
  “I baled with the old-style New Holland hammerheads until about 1982 when I went to the new horizontal plungers,” says Stockman.
  Like other early New Holland balers, and most balers made for the next 20 years, the 77 was a hammerhead design. It had vertical plungers instead of horizontal ones and was developed by a Pennsylvania man who sold the design to New Holland. New Holland made 11 hammerhead models starting in 1941 and became the go-to company for hay balers. However, by the 1980’s, even New Holland had shifted to the horizontal design.
  “Parts were getting hard to find for the hammerheads, and I realized they would soon be extinct,” says Stockman. “I started collecting them fast and furious.”
  Stockman started with New Hollands, the brand he preferred and a family favorite. “I was born in 1946, and my dad bought a New Holland 77 new in 1949,” says Stockman. “He did custom baling and charged a nickel a bale. I grew up in that business.”
  Eventually Stockman picked up all but the very first New Holland hammerhead baler, including the 77. “The 77 was a classic,” he says. “They made the same model for 6 or 7 years.”
  His most unusual New Holland hammerhead is the SP (self-propelled) 166. “They made 300 of them in 1956, sold only 200, and then recalled all of them,” he says. “It was ahead of its time.”
  He also collected hammerheads made by Minneapolis Moline, Massey Harris and Oliver. John Deere and McCormick made some balers that were kind of unusual, so he added them to his collection, too.
  Some of Stockman’s balers were very hard to find. The 3-wire New Holland 98 was one of only 640 made in 1957. He found one in Canada. He went to Oregon to pick up his Minneapolis Moline baler.
  In addition to balers, which are in good shape, and ready to go to the field, Stockman is auctioning off “project” balers to be restored, manuals, engines, and even parts he has made.
  “I’ve had to make a lot of the parts I needed for these old balers,” says Stockman. “I hope people latch onto the extra parts at the auction. Like the balers, they’re hard to find.”
  The auction is scheduled for September 22nd.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Stockman, 1580 Upper Old Highway 6 NW, Oxford, Iowa 52322 (ph 319 530-7980; nhbill@southslope.net; www.sullivanauctioneers.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5