Michigan man redefines notion of yard art with a display of old plows
“People come from all over to see this,” Elmer Schneider says. “One guy stopped while he was just driving by. He said he thought he was seeing things.” Elmer doesn’t give tours per se; he invites visitors to “help themselves” and roam through the display.
Elmer Schneider has collected and painted around $500,000 worth of yard art over 17 years.
This unregistered aircraft sports a John Deere motif, but it started life as an International Harvester Co. hay loader.
More of Elmer’s handiwork. Unaccustomed to inactivity, Elmer once built elaborate birdhouses like those shown here. “I used to work seven days a week making birdhouses,” he says. “I’d sell 1,000 a year.”
This plow went airborne, accenting a flagpole at Elmer’s farm.
Elmer painted all of his plows outdoors. “I’d hang ‘em and spray ‘em,” he says. “Spray until it shines.” His personal paint record is five plows in one day. “I started at daybreak, and at the end of the day, I was worn out.”
Rolling nearly as far as the eye can see, Elmer’s plows are an important chapter in the history of American agriculture. Elmer painted all of his plows outdoors. “I’d hang ‘em and spray ‘em,” he says. “Spray until it shines.” His personal paint record is five plows in one day. “I started at daybreak,” he recalls, “and at the end of the day, I was worn out.”
Elmer’s imagination is limitless when it comes to old iron.
The David Bradley extra high lift No. 6 gang plow, circa 1927.