Drill End Plates: The Ends Justify the Means

End plates for press drills and grain drills make up impressive collection


| October 1999



Roger Eshelman's display of cast iron drill box end plates at a Waukee, Iowa, show

Roger Eshelman's display of cast iron drill box end plates at a Waukee, Iowa, show. "They haven't made them with cast iron for 50-60 years," Roger says. "If it's cast iron, it must be at least 60 years old."

With more than 300 pieces in his collection, Roger Eshelman has a nice selection of cast iron end plates from wooden box drills and seeders. But even in his wildest dreams, he knows he'll never have them all. 

"My collection represents 102 different companies and 290 different parts numbers," he says. "But I'll bet there's another 400-500 plates out there that I've never heard of."

Roger, a retired teacher living in College Springs, Iowa, says that numbers like those don't translate into a widely available collectible.

"These days, I get the biggest share of my plates at swap meets, or sales of collectors," he says. "You can still get some from junk dealers. And in Nebraska and the Dakotas, there's still some out there. But in Iowa, there's been so many scrap drives, that kind of stuff has almost vanished." Once, though, the drill end plate was as common as the dandelion.

"They made hundreds and hundreds of different ones," Roger says. "Each company may have made anywhere from six to 20 different ones. Some were from press drills, some were from drop seeders, but they were basically from grain drills and seeders."

With multiple manufacturers came a wide variety of drill end plates.