Antique Barn Pulleys and Hay Equipment

Collectors specialize in antique hay equipment, like barn pulleys and hay carriers

| July 1999

  • An early Faultless
    An early Faultless.
  • A vintage illustration showing a typical barn haying operation.
    A vintage illustration showing a typical barn haying operation.
  • A Cloverleaf unloader (top) and an end stop.
    A Cloverleaf unloader (top) and an end stop.
  • Barry Merenoff keeps intricate records of the more than 900 pulleys in his collection
    Barry Merenoff keeps intricate records of the more than 900 pulleys in his collection. "I use these to avoid buying duplicates (which works about 95 percent of the time) and to trace designs and 'marks,'" he says. The pulley shown here is Louden's "Mammoth" design, a unique design. "I have only seen one outside of the manufacturer's catalog," he says. "This one I have."
  • Boyce McNorton, Topeka, Kan., with one of the carriers (a Peri)  he has restored and donated to the Meriden (Kan.) Antique Engine and Thresher Assoication
    Boyce McNorton, Topeka, Kan., with one of the carriers (a Peri)  he has restored and donated to the Meriden (Kan.) Antique Engine and Thresher Assoication.
  • Part of Barry Merenoff's collection of pulleys
    The tip of the iceberg: Part of Barry Merenoff's collection of pulleys. Major pulley manufacturers include Herschel Mfg. Co., Jamesway, Louden, Montgomery Ward (early 1900s), Meyers, Ney, Porter, Starline, Sears & Roebuck (early 1900s), and Whitman and Barnes.
  • A unique hand-crafted wooden barn pulley
    A unique hand-crafted wooden barn pulley, complete with a wooden cotter pin (from which the white tag is suspended).

  • An early Faultless
  • A vintage illustration showing a typical barn haying operation.
  • A Cloverleaf unloader (top) and an end stop.
  • Barry Merenoff keeps intricate records of the more than 900 pulleys in his collection
  • Boyce McNorton, Topeka, Kan., with one of the carriers (a Peri)  he has restored and donated to the Meriden (Kan.) Antique Engine and Thresher Assoication
  • Part of Barry Merenoff's collection of pulleys
  • A unique hand-crafted wooden barn pulley

An article in last month's Farm Collector focused on vintage barns. But the items once housed in those barns are just as much interest to serious collectors of farm antiques. 

Interest in barn items sometimes focuses on pieces such as door and stall latches and other fixtures, ranging from the simple to the complex. Barn boards and doors are often recycled in "new" farm buildings and homes, as well as in larger displays of collectibles. Vintage roof-top cupolas sometimes resurface on contemporary structures.

But most often, hay equipment is the category that captivates the collector's attention. Collectibles range from the heavy items, like carriers, suspensions, rails and forks, to smaller pieces, like barn pulleys.

Unless you're a veteran collector, now may be a great time to start accumulating pieces like forks and pulleys. A great variety is still available for reasonable prices at auctions and flea markets, says Missouri farm antiques trader John E. Currie.



"But the old hay slings, which closed around hay to lift it, are about all gone," he says. "All I've seen recently is wooden 2x2s used in the slings."

Except for times when two collectors collide over sale items, John says, prices for most pulleys and forks have stabilized or dropped slightly from a few years ago when there was a surge of popularity.

CoastieSnipe
11/25/2014 9:37:56 AM

Many years ago while driving horses on the hayfork, I pulled a young hired man to the peak of the barn when his hand caught in the pulley. Terrible memory


DOROTHY WAHL
5/9/2012 1:57:00 AM

Interested in old hay claw to go on my pulley. If you have such, please call 620-429-7712 or email marvin.wahl@plantpioneer.com