Collection of corn planting equipment shows the evolution of corn planters, check-row planters and shellers
This Gleason and Bailey sheller, made in New York of cast iron, carries a patent date of 1882. The stand on this sheller is intact; few survive the passage of years without breakage.
A selection of free-standing John Deere shellers, with a David Bradley feed cutter at the lower left. Darrel keeps restoration efforts as true to the original as possible.
The Dain sheller, made in Ottumwa, Iowa. John Deere bought out Dain and later discontinued the sheller line. "They're pretty rare now," says Darrel Heeren. He found this one, with an 1882 patent date, at an auction near his home. Enough original paint and trim survived that a friend was able to use it as a guide for a new decal, which she spent hours creating.
Darrel and Marian Heeren, Hastings, Neb. The two are active members of the Corn Items Collectors group, and are enthusiastic collectors and restorers. Darrel even tries out the antiques. "I've used one of those hand-operated planters to plant my sweet corn," he says.
A small portion of Darrel's collection of hand-operated corn planters. "I'm always amazed there are so many variations of planters and shellers," he says.
A partial selection of Darrel's box sheller collection. When it comes to restoration, Darrel starts from scratch. "Some people don't like to sandblast," he says, "but I sandblast everything. I just have a cheap sandblster and some fans, but I take my time. Patience is the key. You have to be patient with what you do, and do it right the first time."
Gears on a Belle City Mfg. Co. feed cutter with Sheffield steel knives. "It was used just for chopping green corn for milk cows and other livestock," Darrel says. "It'd take a stalk and the ear." It dates to about 1900.