Born in Vermont in 1804, John Deere trained as a blacksmith’s apprentice before starting his own trade, moving to Moline, Illinois, and coming up with his life-changing invention – the steel plow. This concept led Deere to establish a workforce to meet its customers’ growing demands better. Despite facing financial hardship, like most others at the time, John Deere was determined to keep working for farmers, just as they did for the rest of the country. In addition to manufacturing equipment, Deere became deeply involved with the Moline, IL, community before his death in 1886, further helping to shape the dependable brand we all know and love today.

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History of John Deere the inventor

Who is the Real John Deere?

Our John Deere biography begins when he is 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, John 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 of the Midwest.

When was John Deere Born?

John Deere was born on February 7, 1804. He was a blacksmith and inventor who started Deere & Company, a big agricultural equipment maker. John Deere changed farming with his invention of the first steel plow in 1837, making farming easier and helping the industry grow.

Where was John Deere Born?

John Deere, the founder of the John Deere Company, known for its agricultural equipment, was born in Rutland, Vermont. He grew up in a rural farming community, which later inspired him to invent the steel plow that revolutionized farming practices in the United States.

What was John Deere like as a Person?

John Deere was described as a strong and enduring individual, both physically and mentally. He had a friendly, open personality and a genial and noble character. His emotions were easily visible, and he was empathetic towards joy and sorrow.

What Did John Deere Invent?  

While continuing with his blacksmith services, Deere also experimented with alternative plow designs and invented the polished John Deere steel plow, an innovative idea at the time, which he then pitched to local farmers. Deere claimed that this type of machine would furrow into the sticky Midwestern 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 world’s most successful farming equipment manufacturing and distribution businesses.

What was John Deere’s famous quote?

Everyone knows the slogan “Nothing Runs Like a Deere” from John Deere. It basically means their equipment is top-notch – reliable, efficient, and strong. This slogan has really helped cement John Deere’s reputation as a leader in agricultural machinery. Customers love them for their quality and performance.

When was John Deere Founded? 

In 1842, Deere built 100 plows, and his retail business grew when he began filling orders for the Patent Cary Plow. The demand for the Deere plows prompted Deere to establish a shop, partnership, and workforce to complete the orders that continuously and increasingly flowed in. To support the growing business, Deere started a contract with a Pittsburgh steel manufacturer to supply the strong steel plates his plow design needed.

Why is John Deere’s Invention Important? 

In 1858, though, the U.S. experienced a financial crisis, and businesses across the country found sales slipping, Deere’s included. Despite the financial struggle, Deere continued working to create efficient and reliable equipment in the agriculture and blacksmith trade. John Deere tirelessly created, promoted, and perfected agricultural equipment, making cultivating more land and growing crops faster and easier than ever for American farmers. This increase in food production, in turn, helped promote an increase in population and a subsequent increase in settlers migrating from the East Coast into the fertile lands out West. It could be said that Deere’s inventions made it possible for more farmers to prosper and, in fact, for the country to grow and flourish. 

As his company grew, so did John Deere’s imagination. In 1863, Deere invented the first ride-on plow, the Hawkeye Riding Cultivator, which relied on horses to pull the plow instead of a man pushing it himself. This was another huge leap forward in productivity for farmers, who could now plow more land faster and raise enough crops to feed their families and have enough left to sell. This elevated many once-poor farm families from subsistence to being well-off, contributing to the eventual economic boom of the Second Industrial Revolution. At this time, Deere handed the company over to his only surviving son, Charles Deere, who continued his father’s business in Moline, IL, the current company headquarters.

Who was John Deere as a Person? 

Now, let’s take a closer look at John Deere as a person. Once the company was in the hands of his son, Deere focused his attention on civil and political affairs in Moline. He was elected Mayor of Moline and served as the president of the National Bank of Moline and the director of the Moline Public Library. His involvement in the public affairs of his community and his influential work as an inventor established Deere as a respected and reliable businessman, a person the American farmer could relate to. His devotion to all areas of his life, including his wife and nine children, has shaped the John Deere Company into the dependable and loyal brand it is today.

Where is John Deere’s Grave? 

When John Deere passed on on May 17, 1886, at the age of 82, he was laid to rest in Moline, IL, where his beloved company was founded and is still headquartered today.

It could be said, however, that he lives on to this day, not only in the memories of his descendants but also in the esteem of all those who value and use John Deere equipment daily. After all, John Deere was more than a person, an inventor, or even the founder of a legendary company – he was the embodiment of the spirit of the American farmer, a man of ingenuity, integrity, and grit.

If you have any questions about any of the equipment offered by John Deere, you can contact your local John Deere dealer.

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