King of 'Toyland'
(Page 2 of 2)
Vernon's workshop contains two turning lathes, metal brakes and a metal sheerer, a wire welder and an acetylene welder. He takes measurements of an original toy, then makes his own version, using steel and sheet metal. He makes his own wheels from tubing steel or buys the wheels from a dealer, and he buys cast aluminum engines from a man in Iowa who molds them.
Trophies Vernon has won for his handmade toys fill one 10-foot long shelf in the museum. His collections of belt buckles (many with farming motifs), caps, toy construction machinery, toy semis, and a model train also are on display.
Vernon says he's learned a lot from others about collecting and making farm toys, but he's also learned a lot from reading - and from making his own mistakes.
Each year, he displays his homemade models at a half dozen events in South Dakota and North Dakota, and he and Rosina attend another half dozen out-of-state toy machinery shows, including the National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville, Iowa. There aren't many shows in North Dakota, he says.
Vernon recommends that folks just beginning to collect toy farm equipment stay with one brand and avoid buying reproductions, which are usually cruder looking than the real ones. Some are pretty hard to detect, he says, but with a practiced eye, it's possible. Most collectors look for the more-detailed, dealer-edition models, he explains, noting 'shelf models' are intended primarily for use as playthings. Collecting toy machinery can be an expensive hobby, he adds, but it doesn't have to be. 'If you can afford it,' he advises, 'you can find it.'
- The V&R Toy Museum is open any time the Eymanns are home. Contact them at P.O. Box 493, Kenmare, ND 58746; (701) 385-4491.
- Mary Margaret Pecht is the semi-retired agriculture editor of The Sentinel newspaper, Lewistown, Pa.
Page: << Previous 1
| 2 |