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The Holy Grail: Farmall Works Office Sign


redneckchevy9

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a confirmed siting & photo of this iconic relic is alive & well......although it appears to have made it through the cheese curtain 

 

FB_IMG_1490386995431_zps5nn19cez.jpg

 

here is a discussion we had back in 2013-2015

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I did not, it was posted on one of the IH Facebook groups I'm in.  Location is Lake Geneva, WI according to poster of picture.  I am assuming those trusses are 8' on center & it takes up all of 3 trusses so I would venture around 20' +/-

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19 minutes ago, BOBSIH856 said:

Did you take the picture? What is the sign made of? Cast AL? Get any measurements?

I did not, it was posted on one of the IH Facebook groups I'm in.  Location is Lake Geneva, WI according to poster of picture.  I am assuming those trusses are 8' on center & it takes up all of 3 trusses so I would venture around 20' +/-

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All I can say is O...M...G!!!!  That thing should be at FARMALL LAND, or maybe at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison.  Or the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

I think it's made from formed aluminum sheet. Not a stamping,  but maybe hammered. That was one of only two ever made and the other one was destroyed during a plant remodeling project.  The one that was destroyed hung off the sand shed which was just inside and to the right, or north, of the back entrance gate into the plant.  The Main Gate you always see in pictures was actually the exit. That sign in this picture was over the old main entrance on the west side of the Farmall office and was moved to over the east entrance when the offices were remodeled and added onto in the late 1950's IIRC.

The story I heard was the day the Tennaco buy-out was announced the maintenance manager for the whole plant asked the plant manager if he could have that sign since Tennaco wouldn't want it. The Plant mgr agreed and the sign was down within an hour or two.  I drove by his house a couple weeks later just snooping and it was leaning against his railroad tie retaining wall along his driveway.  Then about 5-6 years later I was at Rusch Equipment in Freeport, Illinois buying parts, in a hurry, and the parts guy said that sign was in a shed out back.  I did not ask to go see it.  A guy from another forum tried to track it down 3-4 years ago but the trail went cold once it got to the Cheddar Curtain.  And here I thought Bermuda KEN had it in his garage!   I see a trip to Lake Geneva coming up!  SOON!

I trust everyone saw the little sign next to the Farmall sign, says "FARMALL PLANT RECEIVING GATE". This guy must be another Farmall employee that escaped to Wisconsin.   There's a LOT of us up here!

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4 hours ago, caseySD said:

Dang iowawigen.  It's the "Cheddar Curtain".  Get it right man.

No no no, not an Iowawigen at all, I'm live in the f-ed state of IL!  Don't lump me in those guys.

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4 hours ago, Scott! said:

In LG!?!  I would buy Burlington, but can't put my finger on who would have it in LG.

Some digging could be done to the exact owner...seems to be some info on the Facebook groups. 

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3 hours ago, DOCTOR EVIL said:

All I can say is O...M...G!!!!  That thing should be at FARMALL LAND, or maybe at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison.  Or the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.

I think it's made from formed aluminum sheet. Not a stamping,  but maybe hammered. That was one of only two ever made and the other one was destroyed during a plant remodeling project.  The one that was destroyed hung off the sand shed which was just inside and to the right, or north, of the back entrance gate into the plant.  The Main Gate you always see in pictures was actually the exit. That sign in this picture was over the old main entrance on the west side of the Farmall office and was moved to over the east entrance when the offices were remodeled and added onto in the late 1950's IIRC.

The story I heard was the day the Tennaco buy-out was announced the maintenance manager for the whole plant asked the plant manager if he could have that sign since Tennaco wouldn't want it. The Plant mgr agreed and the sign was down within an hour or two.  I drove by his house a couple weeks later just snooping and it was leaning against his railroad tie retaining wall along his driveway.  Then about 5-6 years later I was at Rusch Equipment in Freeport, Illinois buying parts, in a hurry, and the parts guy said that sign was in a shed out back.  I did not ask to go see it.  A guy from another forum tried to track it down 3-4 years ago but the trail went cold once it got to the Cheddar Curtain.  And here I thought Bermuda KEN had it in his garage!   I see a trip to Lake Geneva coming up!  SOON!

I trust everyone saw the little sign next to the Farmall sign, says "FARMALL PLANT RECEIVING GATE". This guy must be another Farmall employee that escaped to Wisconsin.   There's a LOT of us up here!

I thought you would get a kick out of it...I agree, this thing needs to be some where besides a guys shop.

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I spent an hour or two surfing the Farmall FaceBook page and read every comment and looked at every picture.  I did see two frequent posters that said they were former Farmall employees but I didn't know them.  Hey, there were 3500 of us there,  I didn't know everybody!

As to what that sign would be worth,  watch the Mecum auction when they sell signs!  Doesn't take much of a sign to bring a Thousand Bucks.  Or Ten Thousand Bucks!  The small common signs for oil companies that Frank and Mike buy on American Pickers they sell for Hundreds of Dollars.  With the history of that sign and moving north across the border into Wisconsin,  I think maybe it's been changing hands cheaper than what I think it's worth.  But I'd guess it's selling for $10,000 or more,  but with it's history, to the right person it could sell for $50,000 or more.Maybe $100,000.  It's the ONLY one left.  It hung it's whole existence on the office of the plant that built MILLIONS of Farmall tractors from 1926 till 1985.

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that guy could pay for a very nice shop with that sign! I don't think Dr Evils estimates are too far off

these pics have been posted on here before but it gives you an idea of the size and history

 

FarmallPlant1.jpg

FARMALL.jpg

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Your second picture was the original location of that sign.  That was the original single floor office.  That door later became the employment office entrance.  It's the door I entered to fill out my application back about October 9, 1976.  

The other picture was the new two story addition which included a larger lobby and reception area.  Engineering was upstairs.  All plant engineering was about manufacturing parts, modifying the plant to improve manufacturing.  All tractor design was done at Hinsdale.  Ground floor was Purchasing, Material Scheduling, product forcasting, accounting, a cafeteria and dining room, mail room, and a couple conference rooms, one held 200-300 people!  About 20-25 ft from my desk was the doorway down to the tunnel that ran under the street, under the railroad tracks, under the south drive of the plant and the stairs that went up to the aisle that ran right beside the start assembly line, and the hand painted murals of tractors was on either side of the two sets of stairs, one set towards the start of the line, other set towards the rest of the plant.

You guys that really like Farmall Plant history,  really should buy Farmington Implement DVD #8,  105 minutes of FARMALL PLANT history.  Only $39.95.  Lots of other great video too.

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I wonder what happened to the ih symbols and words farmall plant on either side of the door?  Do you know Dr E? Not as cool as the big sign but would still be neat displayed somewhere. Video sounds worth having. You have probably said but what was in the murals?

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2 minutes ago, iowaboy1965 said:

I wonder what happened to the ih symbols and words farmall plant on either side of the door?  Do you know Dr E? Not as cool as the big sign but would still be neat displayed somewhere. Video sounds worth having. You have probably said but what was in the murals?

Not sure where those letters/signs ended up.  Maybe in this guy's shop in Lake Geneva!  I know they got removed!  Redneck posted pic's of that side of the building a year or two ago.

The murals were free-hand painted pictures of a Mogul tractor, a 10-20 I think, an International 300 or 350 Utility, an M, a 660 I think,  and a Regular or F-20, and a couple other International tractors.  Not sure who decided what models to paint, but it took this artist almost a YEAR to paint them.  Wall was brick, had been primed and painted a yellowish beige or cream color.  The murals were 3-4 feet high,  didn't reach the floor or need a stool or ladder.  Max Armstrong made a video that shows them on YouTube, also member here Rollie has his 300/350 utility nose-to-nose with the mural.  Do a search on YT for Max.  Near video!

Another Farmall Fact.  When the center portion of the plant was torn down 7-8 years ago, my sister paid $5 to get me a "FARMALL BRICK".  The contractor discovered he could leave a pile sitting over night and it would be half gone the next morning.   So he started charging for them!

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7 minutes ago, iowaboy1965 said:

Interesting Dr E thank you. I suppose the murals were lost when torn down then? Thats a shame if so.

Yep,  they were inside, meaning on the north side of the southern wall right around the tunnel under the street & RR tracks.  You can see the stairways down to the tunnel on the office building, and there's no plant across the street anymore.

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