A tour of ag history
By JOE SUTTER
LOHRVILLE – Paul Vogel could run his own museum. Over the last 25 years or so, he’s built up a collection of more than 30 antique Oliver tractors, as well as a handfull of Farmalls and Internationals.
“He’s got sheds full,” said his son Andy Vogel.
Paul Vogel will display his collection Saturday evening around 5 p.m. for a visiting tractor club from Scranton, and anyone else interested in these relics of old-fashioned farming.
Some of the tractors are quite rare, Andy Vogel said.
“You probably won’t find them in the Midwest,” he said. “You’ll probably have to drive quite a few miles for them.”
Paul Vogel had to go west to find one of his rare pieces – an Oliver 1900 Industrial, with front-wheel assist, built in 1962.
“There’s only so many that were yellow,” he said.
For another, he had to travel to North Carolina shortly after Hurricane Charley in 2004. He and his wife rented a trailer to bring back a Super 44 from 1957.
“From ’58 to ’60 they built these,” he said. “This was right at the start of production.”
The little tractor has a one-row cultivator attached, and has been entered in parades.
Then there’s the 1950-T from Canada that was once used to blow snow.
He also has a 1948 Oliver HG Crawler with narrow tracks.
“We ran it in the St. Paddy’s parade in Lohrville,” said Paul Vogel’s son Mike Vogel. “It’s got rubber tracks on it so it can go on asphalt.”
Even though it’s got less power than some lawn tractors, HGs were used to pull planes in World War II, Paul Vogel said.
His oldest tractor is a 1929 Hart-Parr, he said. Hart-Parr was one of the companies that merged to become Oliver in 1929, and may have been the first to use the term “tractor.”
“A lot of these ones are 50, 60 years old. A lot of tractors we farm with today, they’re not going to last 60 years,” Andy Vogel said.
“If you ask me why I do it, I couldn’t tell you. I’m just crazy, I guess,” said Paul Vogel.
He got into Olivers when he began doing antique tractor pulls, and it just went on from there, he said.
Besides, it’s a family thing.
“I just don’t parade them or anything. The grandsons do the parading,” he said.