Tractors ‘n Toys

By Willa Wick in Motors, People

It’s oft’ been said “You can take the boy out of the country, but…” Many farmers feel a longing when they retire and have to leave their land, animals and machinery behind. Such was the case with Harold Weber, but years later he has more tractors and farm machinery than he ever dreamed possible
Weber started collecting after he and his wife spent a lazy Sunday afternoon touring the countryside. They came across a Toy Show near Mildmay and stopped to investigate. He saw a miniature die cast replica of his own 8N Ford, and his tractor world exploded.
At the next Toy Show his acquisition was a red W4 International like his dad’s, then a machine like his brother Eldon’s super W6 International. From there it was on up the line to his brother Lyle’s U Minneapolis Moline. Subsequent years produced a Massey like Leonard Whetham’s, a Massey 22 same as Chester Lyons, a Massey 30 like Harold Shannon farmed with, a Massey 44 similar to that of Bill Grice, and the H International of Fred Arthurs – all from the R.R. #3 Clifford community where Weber grew up.
When he was a youngster he received a toy Massey 44 as a Christmas gift. As a teenager he purchased a combine, baler and seed drill at the fire sale after the Roy McKay Hardware Store burned in Harriston. (This was done secretly as he didn’t want his friends to know he was still playing with toy tractors at age 16).
These playthings were all well used and abused by his kids and grandchildren before he saw the value in collecting. Now they’ve been professionally repaired and are neatly displayed among the many shelves and cabinets housing his acquisitions.
Most of Harold’s tractors and machinery, which he purchased himself or were family gifted, are the brand name Ertl, but he’s quick to credit local train collector Dr. Carol Homuth for securing a great collection of Dinkey Toys for him from a show in Toronto. These grab attention as they slowly spin around in a hexagon rotating display case. Collector tractors are not cheap plastic imitations, but rather precise metal replicas which carry a price tag anywhere from $29 to $300.
Weber’s favorite “toy” is still his first adult purchase – the 8N Ford. The smallest he owns is a tiny blue Ford which nestles in the palm of his hand.
After discussing the various model makes and sizes his wife Carole advised the biggest has been restored and is sitting in the garage. Harold proudly shows off his once daily-used farm tractor in local parades.
During the month of April the Weber Tractor Collection will be showcased with the Historical Society in John Webb Room of the Harriston Carnegie Library.

 

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