Discovery Hall Museum at South Bend, Ind., is setting an example other museums can follow, in preserving the industrial past of the community.
Oliver Plows, to name one product, went out from South Bend to help farmers everywhere. The firm advertised itself as 'Oliver: Plow makers for the World'.
The museum, serving the Mishawaka area as well, has been the recipient of help of a kind that could be rendered other museums in their quest for collections of historical value.
The donation of the Studebaker Historic Vehicle Collection to the city of South Bend brought the start of the concept in 1966. Preparation of the Oliver exhibit was substantially aided by the officials of White Farm Equipment, owners of Oliver. White Farm is owned by TIC Investment Corp., Dallas, Texas.
Agricultural equipment manufacturers who are represented in the museum's collections also include South Bend Chilled Plow, Bird sell, Hoke Tractor, and Perkins Windmill and Engine Co.
Oliver was featured in the first temporary exhibit. White officials donated 10,000 photographic negatives which were of major importance for giving the exhibit visual background.
Among the products made in the area, which are shown at the museum, are buggies, wagons and automobiles from the Studebaker collection.
Other exhibits show an old-time woodworks shop, a wagon wheel mass production plan, a 10-foot diameter Perkins Windmill, a Bird sell clover huller, South Bend ranges and a Bendix Talos missile.
For others who may be interested in recording industrial history, a Discovery Hall brochure lists tells what it is all about: the story of the people who provided the know-how, labor and ability to produce; the products of local manufacturers; the story of the growth of manufacturing from one-man operations to huge mass-production complexes; the history and use of factory buildings; the development of power sources from water to steam to electricity; the history of organized labor, and the stories of the way enterprising men built major industries.