Though I’m a city boy through and through, I have a soft spot in my heart for vintage farm equipment, especially vintage Oliver farm equipment.
You see, my dad worked in quality control for Oliver Corporation from about the mid 1960s, through the time the company became White Farm Equipment in the mid 1970s, to the day the plant gates were locked for the last time in the mid 1980s.
Every time I go to the Indiana State Fair, I wander through the rows of vintage tractors hoping to find some Olivers from the years my dad worked there. I hit pay dirt this year.
I don’t care at all about the White tractors. During the White years, Dad grew weary through repeated layoffs and the South Bend plant’s closing, after which he spent months unemployed. I associate White with bad times in our family. But Dad always seemed proud to make Oliver tractors. I remember no time when he was happier. The Oliver years were good to our family.
After Oliver gave way to White, my dad came home with stacks of castoff Oliver logo stickers like the one below. I’ll bet he still has some.