Farm toys at a Minnesota museum celebrate American agriculture through the decades.
Above: The Froehlich tractor shown here is often cited as the first tractor ever made. This handmade model shows the variety in Loren Stier’s collection.
Above: A rare 1/16-scale cast iron Arcade John Deere Model A tractor, one of the pieces from Loren Stier’s boyhood. It shows considerable wear and tear.
Below: Loren Stier with a trio of prized handmade toys: 1/8-scale versions of a Case steam traction engine (foreground), a Nichols & Shepard steam traction engine, and a thresher (at back).
Above: Loren Stier likes custom-made and hand-built farm toys, like this Yoder-made John Deere 720 with pony start, in 1/16-scale.
Left: The Country Showcase Toy Museum has foreign farm toys as well as American, like this German plastic Bruder John Deere 6400 tractor.
Right: This John Deere 420 crawler (produced for the 18th Annual Plow City Toy Show in Moline, Ill.) graces one of the shelves in Loren Stier’s museum. This one has metal tracks, just like the real ones. Those are the kinds of realistic details Loren likes toys in his museum to have.
Below: This John Deere 530 is a unique model, as only one of these handmade wood models was ever made by Marvin Kruse. The museum has a complete collection of Kruse wood models.
Below: This pewter combine in 1/64-scale is also a part of Loren’s museum. It represents a John Deere 9750 STS combine.
Right: Before Shirley Stier had the murals painted, this is what the displays looked like. This one represents the 1950s farm. Among Loren’s favorites: a corn-drying scene, complete with little fans. “They make the same sound as the real ones,” he says.
Below: Farms from two eras are visible in this photo. To the right, with the horses and wagon, and older-model cars, is the farm of the 1930s. To the left, with the larger barn and other red buildings, is a farm of the 1940s.
Right: Loren and Shirley Stier of the Country Showcase Toy Museum.