Reach Plates Get a Chance to Shine

Brian Edwards' reach plates and photos of the 2021 show season.

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by Janet Healy, Fulton, Mo.
Kevin Hembrough helps his grandson and namesake, Kevin Hembrough, start a Waterloo Boy gas engine that belongs to the elder Hembrough at the 52nd annual Prairie Land Heritage Museum Institute Steam Show & Fall Festival in Jacksonville, Ill., Sept 24-26.

Maybe, like me, you don’t know anybody who collects reach plates. Maybe, also like me, you don’t even know what a reach plate is or how it’s used. Well, settle in: You’re about to get an education!

Brian Edwards of Burien, Washington, was only slightly more knowledgeable than me on the subject of reach plates when a happy accident changed the course of his old iron collection. I won’t spoil his story for you – you can read it yourself in this issue of Farm Collector – but suffice to say the orphan reach plates could not have landed in a better home.

Several aspects of this story really got my attention. One was the way in which the reach plates found their way to Brian. In life, it’s all about having friends – and perhaps especially friends with common interests. Friends help friends. Drop a pebble in the water and watch what happens. We can all make a difference. And perhaps most importantly, none of us are ever too old to learn something new.

The beauty of this story is the reach plate display Brian created. It gives people a chance to see an interesting and unusual collection while learning something in the process, and that’s a scenario in which everybody wins. And the fact that Brian shared his story with us is icing on the cake. Perhaps you have an unusual collection: Consider sharing it with the readers of Farm Collector!

Elsewhere in this issue of Farm Collector you’ll have opportunity to give the 2021 show season one more fond look. We squeezed as many photos as we could into this issue, showcasing pictures taken by Farm Collector readers all over the country.

The old iron hobby is wrapped in family ties, and nowhere is that more obvious than in our annual show photo issue. Perhaps because the 2021 season represented a rebound from 2020, when many shows were cancelled by the global pandemic, many of these photos show family members together having the time of their lives. We look forward to much more of that in a new show season. Happy new year to you and yours from all of us at Farm Collector!

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment