Q: We have an interesting antique piece my husband has from his parents’ farm. It’s a cast iron implement seat that must be over 100 years old. It was made by the Grand Detour Company. We would like to know what it is worth.
A: Grand Detour Plow Works was founded by John Deere and Leonard Andrus in Grand Detour, Illinois, in 1837. The company was the first to make steel plow blades. John Deere left the company in 1846 and founded his own company in Moline, Illinois. Grand Detour Plow Works was incorporated as Grand Detour Plow Company in 1879. The plant was bought by J.I. Case Company in 1919. Cast-iron seats like yours were used on horse-drawn farm implements from about 1850 to the 1900s. The seats had holes in them or cutout designs to keep them cool. Over 2,200 different designs have been found. Many include the company name and some include the patent date. Cast-iron seats turn up at auctions in the Midwest farm belt. Collectors look for seats with decorative cutout designs. The seats are usually displayed by hanging them on a wall, but some people put legs on them and use them as stools. Cast-iron implement seats sell for a wide range of prices, depending on their design and rarity. Value: $50 to $100.