Passion Drives Ohio Cultivator Collection

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

| March 2013

  • Mower
    Bill still uses this 5-foot mower manufactured by Ohio Cultivator to make hay for a small herd of beef cattle. Originally drawn by a team of horses, the piece has been converted for use with a tractor.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Bill Duncan
    Bill Duncan with his single-row, horse-drawn Black Hawk corn planter built by Ohio Cultivator.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Manure Spreader
    A fine original, this horse-drawn manure spreader was built by Ohio Cultivator Co. in 1935.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Black Hawk Iron
    Bill’s collection of Black Hawk cast iron seats and wrenches, all products of Ohio Cultivator.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Vintage Sign
    A vintage metal sign for the Famous Ohio farm machinery line produced by Ohio Cultivator.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Manual Cultivator
    A manual cultivator built by Ohio Cultivator Co.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Power Press Sign
    A poster for the Ohio belt power press.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Wrenches
    Ohio Cultivator wrenches in Bill's collection.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Pulverizer
    A Famous Ohio pulverizer.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Machinery Sign
    A Famous Ohio farm machinery metal sign and an original literature rack with brochures for the Famous Ohio line.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Cultivator Model
    A highly detailed 1:16 scale Ohio Cultivator manure spreader scratch-built by Terry Rouch, Royal Center, Ind.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Garden Cultivator
    A horse-drawn garden cultivator produced by Ohio Cultivator.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Cultivator
    A manual cultivator produced by Ohio Cultivator. 
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Beet Lifter
    A horse-drawn beet lifter built by Ohio Cultivator.
    Photo By Fred Hendricks
  • Reel Mower
    A reversible reel mower produced by Ohio Cultivator
    Photo By Fred Hendricks

  • Mower
  • Bill Duncan
  • Manure Spreader
  • Black Hawk Iron
  • Vintage Sign
  • Manual Cultivator
  • Power Press Sign
  • Wrenches
  • Pulverizer
  • Machinery Sign
  • Cultivator Model
  • Garden Cultivator
  • Cultivator
  • Beet Lifter
  • Reel Mower

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.”