John Harvey’s Collection of Antique Lard Tins

Uncommon collection of antique lard tins showcases collector’s admiration for pigs and pork.

| September 2014

  • Porky, wearing a red bandanna and spectacles, is happy he’s not a part of Schenk's Good Will Pure Lard. Porky is John's favorite pig.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • A.G. Kriebel, Hereford, Pa., kept it simple.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • Companies packaged lard in tins of varying sizes. Arbogast & Bastian offered tins ranging from 3 to 50 pounds.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • The largest tin in John Harvey's collection — from Wolff Packing Co., Topeka, Kan. — holds 50 pounds of lard. On the tin’s side are illustrations of pigs engaged in various activities.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • This Babbitt Bros. tin is in fine original condition. John found it while traveling in Colorado.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • A Hampshire hog on a tin produced by Millikan's, Asheboro, N.C., could nearly pass for a photograph. Most tins used artwork and illustrations.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • Lard tins come in varied sizes from many states. The phrase, "put up by," usually appears just above the company name.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • Clever artwork is a hallmark of 20th century lard tins. John collects only tins with pigs on them.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • Three little pigs dance in their "Sunday go to meetin'" clothes on this tin produced by Hertz Bros., Milton, Pa.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • "All of me, why not take all of me?" This pig wasn't just whistling Dixie: Packing plants typically took all but the squeal.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • Clever artwork is a hallmark of 20th century lard tins. John collects only tins with pigs on them.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus
  • John in his "Pig Parlor." John has collected nearly 30 lard tins plus dozens of pieces of pig memorabilia.
    Photo by Leslie C. McManus

John Harvey’s name is usually associated with antique tractors. He created the Classic Farm Tractors calendar and founded a company called Classic Tractor Fever that focuses on people who collect, restore and preserve classic farm tractors. You may even have seen some of his Classic Tractor Fever broadcasts on RFD-TV. But most people do not associate John with antique lard tins.

Getting an early start

Growing up on a small dairy farm near St. Joseph, Missouri, John learned early on to love the land, farm people and livestock — especially hogs. His FFA chapter at Savannah High School held a hog show and sale every fall, so John jumped into the Swine Project with both feet, purchasing a purebred Hampshire gilt as a starter.

In his school’s shop class, he built a modified hog house under the sharp eye of instructor Glenn Wade. It included pig rails along the side to prevent the sow from crushing a baby pig. The mother might weigh 300 pounds, the piglet just 3 pounds; every FFA student wanted to save every pig possible.

Later, John and his father established a small, select herd of Hampshire and Yorkshire purebred hogs with customers in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. “Hogs put me through college,” John says.



Earning a degree in agricultural journalism at the University of Missouri, John joined the staff of Successful Farming in the 1960s and was named Swine Editor. He wrote numerous feature articles promoting “lean-type hogs” and the pros and cons of raising hogs in confinement. “You can see why I have a passion for pigs,” he says. “I was a hog man, or, to be politically correct today, call me a pig person.”

“Treat us as their equals”

Today, John’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, is decorated with pictures of pigs, including one by famed American artist Jamie Wyeth simply named, “Pig,” and an icon showing two Duroc hogs cheek-to-cheek titled, “Hogs are Beautiful.”



SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube

Classifieds