Dean Collection Sold at Auction


| November/December 1984



Steam lineup

Part of the steam lineup at the auction of the late Robert Dean's collection held Thursday, August 2, 1984 in Centerville, Maryland. In approximately six hours time, Merv Hilpipre auctioned off about 1200 items, which had been collected over a period of nearly 20 years.

The farm of the late Bob Dean near Centerville, Maryland, drew hundreds of bidders and seperators last August as his outstanding collection of big engines and smaller pieces of equipment went up at auction.

Holding of the sale proceeded as the former Maryland state senator had planned. He had given full instructions to his wife, Miriam, on how the sale was to be arranged and held. He included instructions on media in which to advertise (including IMA and GEM). A conservationist, he told her to sell the machinery but to keep the land.

Editor Gerry Lestz speaks with Mrs. Dean under an umbrella on her farm in Centerville, the day of the auction which drew over 800 people from all over the East coast.

She followed his recommendations, and as we sat and interviewed her the day of the sale, she reminisced on his career and his collecting. The first piece he bought was an old stationary Erie engine from a cannery near their home. By the time of his death 19 years later, he owned many traction engines, stationary engines, marine engines, saw mills, a stone crusher, walking plows, pulleys, belts and innumerable other items.

For details on prices obtained at the auction, see adjoining story, with information from Merv E. Hilpipre, whose firm conducted the sale.