Deere & Company products have been known to be high-quality, even from the very beginning. John Deere himself said “I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best that is in me.” John Deere was born on February 7, 1804 in Rutland, Vermont. After later moving to Grand Detour, Illinois, Deere found work as a blacksmith. It is believed that through the practice of sharpening needles by running them through sand, Deere discovered that a steel plow could better handle the conditions of the prairie. Deere built on this concept by creating his first steel plow in 1938 from an old saw blade, and within a couple of years was selling as many as 100 plows each year.
For a short time, Deere partnered with Leonard Andrus. This only lasted until 1948, however, because each man was too stubborn to work with the other. After ending the partnership, Deere moved to Moline, Illinois and began to sell products out of his factory. John Deere’s plow became known as “The Plow that Broke the Plains,” because it worked much better on the Midwest’s tough soil than other plows of its time. The business adopted the name “Deere & Company” in 1868, just a few years after receiving its first patents in 1864 and 1865. However, it was not until 1912 that Deere & Company came to be how we know it today.
During the Great Depression, the company still managed to continue production. During this time, the Model A and B tractors were introduced, becoming the two most popular models in the history of John Deere. These models would continue to remain part of the product line until 1952. Throughout the ’50s and ’60s, Deere introduced several new innovative products, including the Model M tractor (which would lead to Deere’s construction and forestry businesses), the No. 8 Cotton Picker, and the 14T Baler, which, for the first time, made haying a one-man job.
Still going strong in the 1960s, John Deere not only opened new factories worldwide, but also released new products for the average consumer. Building on this success, the tagline “Nothing Runs Like a Deere” was created in the early ’70s to advertise snowmobiles. Over the next couple of decades, factories in China and India opened. In recent years, John Deere has released even more products with higher standards than ever, setting John Deere’s innovative, efficient, and advanced tractors apart from competitors.
The History of John Deere