Stories Told

The Oliver years

What? Another rerun? Well, yes. You totally get what you pay for at Down the Road. This is a favorite post from 2010.

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.

Oliver 1850

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.

Oliver 1850 and Oliver 1800

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.

Oliver 1555

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.

Oliver 1800

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.

Oliver tractor

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Also spotted at the Indiana State Fair:
a 1939 International farm truck. See it here.

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Photography

Captured: International farm truck

International farm truck

Though I’m a lifelong Hoosier and have lived in Indianapolis for 16 years, I’ve been to the Indiana State Fair exactly twice. I always figured the fair was mostly about the midway, and rides just aren’t my thing. But I’m always looking for fun things for my sons and I to do, so we made our first fair trip a couple years ago. I took them last year, too, for a little fun before school started again.

Turns out I like to eat fair food and see the animals and the vintage farm equipment. I had a lot of fun photographing the old tractors and trucks. While I love classic cars and can tell you the year, make, and model of almost any car made after World War II through about 1980, I can’t do the same for trucks. Their styling didn’t change enough from year to year. So I have no idea how old this old International farm truck is. But I liked its lines enough to move in close with my camera.

I can just imagine this truck, which looks like it still works for a living, driving down the perfect gravel road I photographed a few years ago.

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Personal, Stories Told

The Oliver years

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.

Oliver 1850

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.

Oliver 1850 and Oliver 1800

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.

Oliver 1555

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.

Oliver 1800

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.

Oliver tractor

I like old tractors, but I love old cars more. I love the Mecum muscle car auction; see my photos from 2009 and 2010.

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