Getting to the Bottom of Cast Iron Seat Collecting
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As in nearly every type of collecting, however, seat collectors don't agree on how seats should be restored and treated. Many believe that the seats should be left in what Olan calls 'their natural state.' And they're serious about it. 'One person in Missouri had a rare St. Paul Plow Company seat and sold it to another collector with the stipulation that he never paint it,' Olan says. 'And when the buyer died, the original owner bought the seat back. I guess he didn't think anyone else would take care of it right.'
The manufacture of cast iron implement seats — they're often called 'tractor seats,' but were rarely actually made for tractors — peaked between the 1880s and '90s and, by the end of the 20th century's second decade, had been phased out almost completely. Stamped steel seats and, later, padded seats took their place. However, people are often surprised by the early date which cast iron seats were discontinued, remembering more recent implements — and even tractors — carrying the seats in their youth.
The confusion can be explained by farmers' attachment to certain seats. Often, they would find a cast iron seat that seemed to fit them just right and would remove it from the implement and attach it to ones they bought later. Farm technology, they knew, needed to advance, but being comfortable comes from the bottom up.
For more information on the Cast Iron Seat Collectors Association, contact Bud Porter of Woodstock, Ill ; e-mail: email@example.com. FC
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