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Ageless iron garners spirited biddingAgeless iron garners spirited bidding

Slideshow: A vintage machinery auction tally is nearly $400,000.

Harlen Persinger

September 29, 2021

7 Slides

When the final crack of the auctioneer’s gavel faded away at the fairgrounds pavilion in East Troy, Wis., on a lazy summer day, 19 lots of top-quality, vintage farm equipment had found a new home. The sale featured something for every enthusiast, including a restored 1907 Avery HP steam engine, a 1914 Avery “Yellow Fellow” threshing machine and a classic 1919 Waterloo Boy N tractor.

“This rare collection was owned by the late David Sniader, who grew up on his parents’ farm near Harvard, Ill.,” notes his sister Laura. “For years, the engineer, pilot and amateur radio operator brought home items in virtually any condition and painstakingly worked on massaging them both mechanically and aesthetically, ending up with a machine that was functional and beautiful. I will never forget his generous and lasting gift for my birthday, an 1885 Sandwich Hay Press, purchased from a show he went to.”

With uncanny knowledge for this hobby instilled in him during his childhood years, Sniader seemed to have the skills and savvy to fix everything. Even more remarkable were the long hours he spent working out of a bucket loader because he was in a debilitating car accident at age 21, which left him without the use of his legs.

“While this is a bittersweet day, there is a positive result,” Laura says. “I know my brother’s strong work ethic, passion, personal touch and dedication to preserving these revolutionary machines will continue to be on display in different areas of the country for future generations.”

Persinger lives in Milwaukee, Wis.

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