Cast Iron Seat Collector Travels Globe for Rare Seats
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After a 10-day trip in 1993 to the British Isles, Don brought two suitcases of seats back that he bought during his trip. Ted later sent Don a blue Norwegian Laxevaags seat, one not shown in Friedly’s book. “It’s probably the only one of its kind in the U.S.,” Don says, “and Ted has the only one in England.”
Don’s trips to Wales were far from the first he had made in the name of seat collecting. In 1981, he traveled to Russia, China and Australia as part of the People to People program, an initiative begun by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower that sends Americans to meet with foreigners involved in similar trades.
Don took another journey to Australia and New Zealand two years later, visited collective farms, and continued correspondence with farmers after returning home. His friendliness paid off. “A year later, a friend in Australia called me and told me he found four seats: two McKays and two Mitchells,” Don says.
After nearly six decades in the hobby, Don’s interest in seat collecting is still going strong. On the top of his wish list is an Alamo Iron Works seat from Waco – the only seat known to be made in Texas. Always on the lookout for his next find, Don plans to attend the Cast Iron Seat Collectors Convention in Hastings, Minn., July 23-25, 2004.
For collectors interested in his seats, Don has a consistent and firm message: “I have no intention of selling my collection,” Don says. “My son runs the family business now, so he’s next in line for the seats.”
Don doesn’t plan on giving up traveling, although he says he will be doing one thing different. “I surely won’t be riding on a bus again,” Don declares. FC
Read more about the cast iron implement seat collecting hobby and seat development: “The Rise of Cast Iron Implement Seats.”
Lindsey Hodel is a freelance writer who shares a passion for preserving land and farm heritage. Contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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