Shades of Green
(Page 2 of 4)
Some 770 tractors were displayed with semi-mounted Oliver plows, but plows weren't only associated with those tractors. When considering that the Oliver Chilled Plow Works shipped more than 60,000 plows a year by the late 1870s, and that various iterations of the Oliver plow were sold for at least the next century, it would take many more acres than are available at Prairie Village to accommodate all of the different models. However, the show attracted a nice representation of walking plows and tractor-drawn plows of virtually every vintage.
Morris Harrison of Sioux Center, Iowa, a retired 39-year veteran of the Oliver Co. and its successors, took the call for plows seriously, bringing several walking plows to the show along with a beautiful brass-and-wood display-model plow and related memorabilia. 'I got my first Oliver walking plow from a relative in Wall, S.D.,' Morris explains. 'I restored that one and went looking for another; now I have about 14 of them.' Morris doesn't only collect Oliver plows however. His collection includes thousands of Oliver related items, from tractors to matchbooks.
Donie and Bev Fischer of Waterville, Ohio, created a mobile memorabilia museum and towed it to the show, much to the crowd's delight. 'We have been collecting for over 30 years and had thought about the traveling museum idea for a long time,' Donie explains. 'We finally bought the trailer, and I spent three weeks in May putting it together.'
Inside and around the trailer, the Fischers displayed hundreds of items, including toys, signs, literature, advertising, pedal tractors and three rare outboard boat motors. The museum also featured a Chris-Craft boat model and a tiny, battery-powered Oliver outboard motor model that were available only briefly through Oliver dealers to promote their marine line.
Dan Mettler of Menno, S.D., displayed an interesting set of steel Oliver toys from the 1950s alongside pens, match-books and lighters. Willard Zeeb, also of Menno, had his Superior Drill Co. patent model on display accompanied by several lovely Superior Drill Co. trade cards. Morris Harrison also had several Oliver Chilled Plow Works trade cards on display.
Among the many unusual full-sized pieces of machinery at Prairie Village, a 1963 Oliver Model 1600 LP-gas High-Crop tractor owned and restored by David Lulich of Lyndon Station, Wis., literally towered above the crowd. David has a number of rare Oliver machines in his collection, but this tractor, originally delivered to Louisiana, is one of his favorites.