Note: This feature is in the May TF 2019 issue
1976 was a notable year in the United States, with a bicentennial celebration as well as a hotly contested presidential election, in which a relatively unknown from Georgia named Jimmy Carter upset incumbent Gerald Ford. Ford's cause was not helped by a stagnant economy. The inflation that resulted affected the farm community. Despite high commodity prices, several farm equipment builders were gasping for air. Oliver was no exception.
Toy Farmer pays homage to Oliver's final production of the Oliver 2255 in 1976 with one of its 2019 show tractors. Toy Farmer has chosen two tractors for its 2019 National Farm Toy Show issues. For the 42nd National Farm Toy Show Nov. 1-3 in Dyersville, Iowa, Toy Farmer is issuing a 1/16 scale Oliver 2255 two-wheel-drive with ROPS and a 1/64 scale Minneapolis-Moline A4T-1600 four-wheel-drive.
The Oliver story begins just prior to the Civil War, when James Oliver was awarded a pair of patents– one for a plow and the other for a chilling process, which made his plow better. This was, of course, well before the self-propelled tractor was even an idea. In fact, Oliver did not enter this market until 1929, after a merger with the Hart-Parr and Nichols & Shepard lines. The color scheme most familiar to collectors –the green, yellow and red with art deco styling–would not appear until the late 1930s.