Passion Drives Ohio Cultivator Collection

Ohio Cultivator line lives on in Bill Duncan's collection.

| March 2013

Bill Duncan might have become a Cockshutt collector — but collections don’t always proceed in a logical fashion. For Bill, who lives in Zanesville, Ohio, early experience with Cockshutt tractors served as a springboard into a fascination with the Ohio Cultivator line.

“My dad, Kenneth, worked at the Muskingum County Farm Bureau parts department when they sold and serviced CO-OP tractors,” he explains. “The CO-OP tractor was built by Cockshutt Farm Equipment Co., Brantford, Ontario, Canada.” After Kenneth started using Cockshutt tractors on the farm, Bill got interested in a Cockshutt subsidiary, Ohio Cultivator Co., which sold the Black Hawk planter and other Black Hawk products.

Farmer at heart

Although Bill worked in town for 36 years, he is a farmer at heart. “Farming is really what I like best,” he admits. “It started with Dad working for Farm Bureau when they were selling tractors. He also farmed about 100 acres and raised registered Angus cattle. My first toys were tractors Dad picked up from the local tractor dealer. I still have that original 1952 CO-OP Model E3 replica.”

Although Bill drove his first tractor (a Ford Ferguson) at age 5 or 6, his first real working experience on the tractor came later. “I remember Dad sending me out to the field on the tractor the first time,” he says. “I drove our CO-OP Model E2 tractor to cultivate corn. When the corn was really small, those were long, tiresome days sitting on the tractor, watching the corn pass below your seat through the cultivator.” As a teenager, he was an active member of Future Farmers of America. “I’ve always been connected to farming in some way,” he says, “and I love every bit of it.”

In addition to collecting Ohio Cultivator equipment, Bill also gathers up farm equipment signs, wrenches, cast iron seats, toolboxes, lamps, clocks, antique tractors and farm toy tractors. In 2009, he exhibited a winning 1:16 scale diorama at the National Farm Toy Show, Dyersville, Iowa.

Looking for the full Ohio Cultivator line

Ohio Cultivator Co. manufactured an extensive line of farm, lawn and garden equipment. Bill is quick to admit that he does not own everything made by the company, but his collection is extensive. “I’m working on getting as many pieces as I can,” he says. “I get a lot of enjoyment tracking them down.” Sometimes he doesn’t even have to track them down. “Dealers of old equipment know I like Ohio Cultivator things,” he says, “so they call to tell me when they have something special.”