Hog Wild for Hog Oilers

Hog oiler collectors convene at at Pioneer Park Days

| July 1999

  • B.Z. Cashman and his collection of oilers
    B.Z. Cashman and his collection of oilers. The hog oiler came in all shapes and sizes, designed to administer oil to a hog as it rubbed against it. The oil helped control parasites and vermin: healthier hogs were more profitable hogs.
  • Sheila and Chris Carson, with their collection
    Sheila and Chris Carson, with their collection. Most oilers have a wheel that dips into an oil reservoir. Old crankcase oil was an inexpensive, favorite medication.
  • Hog oilers are just a part of Judy's collection, which also features circus-related artifacts
    Judy Kock and her grandson, Alex. Hog oilers are just a part of Judy's collection, which also features circus-related artifacts.
  • Shirley Herlihy's collection. Hog oilers are becoming very scarce, she said, as there were not many to begin with
    Shirley Herlihy's collection. Hog oilers are becoming very scarce, she said, as there were not many to begin with. "With names like 'Hog Joy', 'Shores', 'Watermelon', 'Farmer's Delight', 'Dexter', 'German American', 'Rub Hog or Die', and 'Swine-Ezer', they are interesting and amusing."
  • Mary Baxter and her colorful collection
    Mary Baxter and her colorful collection.

  • B.Z. Cashman and his collection of oilers
  • Sheila and Chris Carson, with their collection
  • Hog oilers are just a part of Judy's collection, which also features circus-related artifacts
  • Shirley Herlihy's collection. Hog oilers are becoming very scarce, she said, as there were not many to begin with
  • Mary Baxter and her colorful collection

The vast majority of all hog oilers produced in the U.S. originated in the Midwest. But nearly 80 years after production ended, there's a strong contingent of the barnyard collectible in sunny Florida. Several hog oiler collectors attended Pioneer Park Days at Zolfo Springs in March. 

Don and Mary Baxter are from Alva, near LaBelle on the Caloosahatchee River. They've been collecting oilers since they saw their first one 14 years ago. Their hog oilers are always sheltered, occupying places of honor on porches at the couple's home. When the Baxters take their collection to a show, it's a major job.

"They're heavy," Mary said. "I appreciate my husband lifting them for me."

B.Z. Cashman, a collector from Mayo, near Live Oak on the Suwannee River, agreed.



"Hog oilers get heavier every year," he said.

B.Z. has been collecting since 1974, and has a grand total of 40. The size of the collection has forced him to diversify when he attends shows.

Karen
1/8/2011 12:42:38 PM

We saw a whole bunch of them at a farm show. They are great -- very fanciful. But one question -- why did they go out of use after 80 years? How were the insect and skin problems dealt with after that?