A collector turns to state to help preserve antique machinery

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Fred Webster of Coventry is asking the state to help him preserve his collection of 1,500 pieces of antique farm equipment.

The 86-year-old Webster fears that when he dies the collection will be auctioned off in bits and pieces.

He has old tractors, carriages, sleighs, wheels and saws that he started collecting 21 years ago.

Webster is a former vocational agriculture instructor.

The goal of his collection is to show how machinery had evolved. It’s a phenomenon he witnessed growing up on his family’s farm, where he still lives today.

His collection s housed in 80,000-square-feet of old barns and buildings on his property.

Some of the gems are an 1896 single-horse power machine and a horse-drawn hearse.

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