John Deere: Nearly A Century of Progress

November 3, 2010

The Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company formed in 1893 and began making tractors. Things got off to a slow start, as they produced only four in their first three years. Not only was their output drastically low, but each of those tractors was returned by the buyer. Even so, the company eventually reorganized under a new name (Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company) and introduced the Waterloo Boy tractor in 1913. Thus, we were introduced to the two-cylinder, horizontal engine design that would see action for the next 46 years. Five years after production of the Waterloo Boy began, Deere & Company purchased Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company for $2.34 million. And though you could say their original tractor was a success, John Deere hasn’t left the brand untouched. Here’s a look at how a Waterloo Boy stacks up to a 2011 model.

Waterloo Boy

  • Horsepower: 12 (drawbar), 25 (belt pulley)
  • RPM: 750
  • Speed: 3 mph
  • Cylinders: 2
  • Fuel: kerosene
  • Starter Type: hand-crank

John Deere 8235R (2011)

  • Horsepower: 235
  • RPM: 2,100
  • Speed: 26 mph
  • Cylinders: 6
  • Fuel: diesel
  • Starter Type: electronic