Who Was John Deere? The Story Of The Man Whose Name Is On Your Riding Lawn Mower

It would be easy to assume that, since those iconic green riding lawn mowers you see zipping around the neighborhood all have the name "John Deere" on their backs, this Deere guy was the inventor of the lawn mower. But he was a different man altogether. John Deere made a name for himself with a very different kind of farm machinery.

John Deere

John Deere was born in Rutland, Vermont in 1804 and displayed a devotion to craftsmanship from an early age. When he was 17, he attended Middlebury College, but soon went on to a blacksmith apprenticeship. In 1826, he established his own blacksmith shop, and the following year, he married Demarius Lamb, with whom he had nine children. All was well with the Deere family until 1836, when New England's economy collapsed. Like many other Vermont business owners, Deere moved his family to Illinois, hoping the economic climate would be more favorable.

The Plow That Breaks The Plains

Deere was thrilled to find so much work available to them, as there were few blacksmiths in the area, but almost immediately, their farmer customers complained about the inefficiency of the cast iron plow. While cast iron worked fine for farming in the East, it was problematic in the Midwest, breaking and breaking the hard roots of prairie grass. Dirt and soil also accumulate on the raw metal, forcing farmers to stop working repeatedly to remove it. After some careful consideration, Deere theorized that a plow made of polished steel would be strong enough to cut deep roots and repel soil, so he built a prototype that he showed to a crowd of hundreds who Used to shout to buy it. Deere found himself unable to meet his demand and in 1848 established a factory in Moline, Illinois, which soon churned out about 10,000 plows that became known as "The Plow That Broke the Plains" each year. .

John Deere Company

Deere brought his son Charles as a partner in the John Deere Company in 1858, five years later his son-in-law Stephen H. Wally joined in. Under his leadership, the John Deere Company gained access to a wide variety of agricultural implements and equipment for use by cultivators and forestry. The John Deere Company, instead of selling its plows to tractor manufacturers, began producing its own high quality tractors, including lawn tractors and riding lawn mowers, which are still the epitome of quality today.

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