Farm Memorabilia Worth the Wait

Kansas man makes collection of farm memorabilia, stick pins and paperweights


| February 1999



Pieces in Loyd Davis' collection include an early John Deere paperweight.

Pieces in Loyd Davis' collection include an early John Deere paperweight. "Part of its rack is broken off," he said. "Pieces like this are pretty vulnerable. It's hard to find one that's not busted up." 

If your hobby must deliver instant gratification, then stay away from farm memorabilia. Stick pins, watch fobs, paperweights and the like don't come along every day, and in some parts of the country, they don't come along at all. But if you treasure history, creativity and the patina of age, you won't mind the wait.

Kansas City-area collector Loyd Davis knows all about waiting.

"It's taken me 35 years to accumulate my collection," he said. "It's tough to find this stuff. You may walk through 15 antique stores and not find a thing."

His collection of farm memorabilia began, simply enough, with watch fobs.

"But along the way, I started seeing other stuff," he said. "Like advertising stick pins. They're scarce, but still easier to find than fobs. There's some that are real common. The Moline Flying Dutchman, the Moline Plow Co. manufactured jillions of those. And the J.I. Case eagle, that's fairly common. Those were huge companies; they cranked out a lot of them. Then there were the paperweights ..."

He likes the history behind the pieces, the geographic ties to his roots in farm country, and the size of the collectibles.