State Fair Classic: 1968 Oliver 1950-T: The Oliver Years


Though I’m a city boy through and through, I have a soft spot in my heart for vintage farm equipment, especially vintage Oliver farm equipment. You see, my dad worked in quality control for Oliver Corporation from about the mid-1960s, through the time the company was rebranded as White Farm Equipment in the mid-1970s, to the day the plant gates were locked for the last time in the mid-1980s.


Every time I go to the Indiana State Fair, I wander through the rows of vintage tractors, hoping to find some Olivers from the years my dad worked there. I seldom come away disappointed. This tractor was introduced in 1967 and features, of all things, a turbocharged engine (hence the T in 1950-T) that supposedly offered improved power and performance and better fuel economy than the model it replaced.


I was excited to find this 1950-T because I have this photo of my father sitting in one, a factory-fresh enclosed model. I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing it here. What’s remarkable about this shot is that Dad is wearing a ball cap. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wear a hat in person. Dad always seemed proud to make Oliver tractors. I remember no time when he was happier. The Oliver years were good to our family. (The White years, not so much.)


After Oliver gave way to White, my dad came home with stacks of castoff Oliver logo stickers like this one. I’ll bet he still has some.