ON THE ROAD


| May 2004



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Items in the Schneider collection

Canadian 'super collector's' estate offered to the public

In the world of antique farm equipment, there are collectors, and then there are super collectors. Fred Schneider and his wife, Helen, definitely fell into the latter category. They amassed possibly the largest collection of antique farm-related machines, implements, tools, shop supplies, merchandise and engines in Saskatchewan, Canada. Unfortunately, Fred passed away last year at the age of 89, leaving his collection - housed in 22 buildings on his 250-acre estate in Eston - to be sold as part of his estate.

Hector Lloyd, owner of Lloyd's Auction Service, says Fred's collection is so massive that it's being sold in intervals. 'So far, we've had nine days of sale beginning in July 2003,' he says. 'All of the steam is gone, but we still have over 450 engines, 160 tractors, 100 pull-type implements and about 100 other miscellaneous farm items still up for sale.' This year's round of auctions are scheduled for five different weekends.

From April 23-25, farm-related merchandise, tools, spare parts, brass fittings and shop supplies will be the theme. Fred was a lifelong farmer as well as an inventor and engineer. He's credited with at least six different patents for agricultural machinery, including a disc drill that was sold to Massey-Harris, which brought him the majority of his financial success.

'Almost every farmer in North America has two to 20 of these drills,' Lloyd adds. Fred developed these drills (and countless other ideas that weren't as successful) on his farm using tools, parts and machinery that are now offered to the public.

Among the spare parts he amassed, Fred was enamored by all things brass, Lloyd says. 'Schneider saw value in almost anything relating to antique machinery, parts and scrap,' he says.

From June 5-7, more than 450 engines, parts, oilers and steam whistles will hit the auction block, ranging from common models to such hard-to-find offerings as a 2-hp Goold, Shapley & Muir, 7-hp Stickney and 5-hp Olds. Many engines are running, and some are restored. 'Fred's passion was stationary engines,' Lloyd says.