John Deere's Biography & History
This story was originally published on machinefinder.com: http://blog.machinefinder.com/9928/the-man-behind-the-company-a-john-deere-biography
Over the years, “John Deere” has become a household name for most Americans. Whether it’s written across a hat or on a lawn mower, tractor, or children’s toy, we all recognize that familiar green and yellow. Indeed, the John Deere brand has had a big impact on our approaches to plowing, harvesting, mowing, lumbering, and simplegardening. Though some of us may boast an expert recognition and knowledge of theJohn Deere products and brand, what do we really know about the man who started it all?
As a young man living in his birth state of Vermont, John Deere worked as a blacksmith’s apprentice and eventually began his own blacksmith trade. For 12 years, Deere traveled to various cities in Vermont to offer his blacksmith services but when business slowed in 1837, the 33 year-old Deere headed west to Illinois. Once he had established his blacksmith services in IL, Deere began noticing a recurring trend in the wood and cast-iron plows he was repairing: He found that this plow design was meant for the soft, sandy soil of the East and was not conducive to the thick, heavy prairie soil.
While continuing with his blacksmith services, Deere also experimented with alternative plow designs and came up with a polished-steel plow, which he then pitched to local farmers. Deere claimed that this type of machine would furrow into the sticky Midwest soil better than the traditional wood and cast-iron plows. That year,Deere built and sold three plows; little did he know, this would spark one of the most successful manufacturing and distributing businesses in the world for farming equipment.