Pedlar People Hay Trolley

Hay Trolley

Hay Trolleys in the barn and restored as a collectors piece.

by Robert Fleming

There are several collectors in south western Ontario who collect and restore hay trolleys, along with documenting the patents, advertising and histories of these local manufacturers. Some of these collections would make a great article for Ontario Barn Preservation. Attached are picture of a hay trolley from the Hartman Homestead in Hay Township (my mothers family farm)…fully restored and back on the farm. The last picture is some of the trolleys I’ve restored and hung in my shop.

Screenshot 20231101 102043 Gallery 1

Additional Information Steve McFadden

Hay Trollies have become a popular collector’s item and it is wonderful to see them restored and nicely displayed.

Records indicate William Louden received a U.S. patent for the world’s first hay carrier on September 24, 1867. Early versions were cast iron and traveled along a wooden beam. In the 1890s the development of malleable iron saw the introduction of a steel rail and eventually led to all metal hay carrier designs that were stronger and longer lasting.

The mono-rail hay trolley, similar to the system used with litter carriers, was easy to understand, set up and quickly became a labour saving must have in Ontario barns. Many small companies were soon manufacturing and coming up with innovative improvements and additions to the device.  These included the hay spears, forks and grapples.

Myers Haymow Trade Card

In the early 1900 Beatty Bros. Ltd of Fergus Ontario held patterns for and manufactured a number of hay trollies. The company was manufacturing agricultural products and shipping the word wide well into the 1930s.

Most Ontario Barns were built to accommodate hay trollies and hay lifters and older barns were often modified to do the same. They were a necessity on a productive farm and older farmers will remember working with them. In their younger years they may also remember hanging on to a hook and traveling the length of the barn on a dare or a whim. Their first trolley ride.

To all OBP blog readers: If you have not already done so, please support not-for-profit, volunteer-run, Ontario Barn Preservation by becoming a member! Also, if you are in the business of repairing, reconstructing, engineering, designing, etc. old barns, please consider advertising your amazing skills on our Barn Specia-List. If you own an old barn that you would like to offer to someone else, or you are hoping to obtain one for your own project, make use of our Barn Exchange page. If you own an old barn and would like to save it in the virtual world for future old barn lovers, historians and researchers, check out our Your Old Barn Study page. And please send us your own barn story, photos and/or art for submission as a OBP blog posting for the enjoyment and education of all barn lovers!

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