2023 - Volume #47, Issue #2, Page #22[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Minnesota Man Collects Jacks
Checkel grew up on the farm and, as a child, played with jacks. “When I tell people that, they think I mean the children’s toy,” he said. But he meant the heavy metal mechanical devices. He learned early on how useful they could be. In the 1980’s, he won a heavy-duty Handyman farm jack at a hardware store. Then his uncle gave him a jack. Neighbors and friends learned of his interest in jacks, and more came his way. It wasn’t long before he was a collector. He now has 349 of them and says that might just be enough.
The jacks in Checkel’s collection are made of different kinds of iron, aluminum, and plastic along with handles of wood (most likely oak, hickory, ash and maybe ironwood). His favorite is a 100th-anniversary limited edition Hi-Lift made in 2005. “I called the company to see if they still had some,” he said. He had missed the initial celebration, but they still had some of the 200 green metal and chrome treasures. He sent the company a photo of his collection, and they sent him a jack.
His oldest jack is from an 1849 Conestoga wagon, and he has a slightly newer 1853 wooden buggy jack. He usually pays about $25 for jacks, but many have been gifts.
Jim recently retired from the Mayo Clinic’s neurology research facility. He is a world traveler, having visited 34 countries and most U.S. states. He’s always looking for interesting jacks at auctions, both live and online.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup: Jim Checkel, 64265 220th Ave., Kasson, Minn. 55944 (ph 507-696-0933; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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