Tool Collection Fills Toolbox

Family's tool collection includes old tools, planting items, seed sacks and kitchen items

| July 2000

Did you know that there are more than 3,000 kinds of barbed wire? Stanley and Twila Mackey do. They have 180 different types as part of their farm tool collection. Over the years, the Mackeys and their son and daughter-in-law, John and Marilyn, have collected an amazing array of old tools, barbed wire, planting items and everything else imaginable.

"We started collecting when we were working on the farm," Twila said. "It just kept increasing. We would go to sales and pick stuff up. Soon, we mounted them and decided to show them at farm festivals."

The Mackeys enjoy sharing their tool collection, and helping people learn about old tools and the use of what were once everyday items. Their collectibles run the gamut from common to unique, but all represent the best of what was available at a given time.

"People just don't realize that, at the time, this was the best we had to do with," Stanley said.

The Mackey's tool collection was part of the 6th annual John Deere Two Cylinder Tractor Show at Effingham, Ill., this spring. Sponsored by the Old National Trail Two Cylinder Club and the East Central Illinois Two Cylinder Club, the show was held in an unusual venue: A shopping mall.

Treasures gathered by the Mackeys over a 55-year farming career nearly filled the space once occupied by a commercial property. Stanley is attracted to oddball collectibles.