Discovery Hall Museum at South Bend, Ind., is setting an example
other museums can follow, in preserving the industrial past of the
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
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
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.