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John Deere

Inventor of the self-scoring steel plow

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John Deere born in Rutland on February 7, 1804. He began his blacksmith appenticeship in 1821 at the age of 17 and in 1825, he began his career as a journeyman blacksmith and soon gained fame for his careful workmanship and ingenuity. His highly polished hay forks and shovels especially were in great demand throughout western Vermont.

The depression of the mid-1830's in Vermont prompted Deere to join the pioneer movement west and settled in Grand Detour, IL, in 1837. He opened a business shoeing horses and mending plows.

It was then he saw the need for a new plow. Whereas cast iron plows were unable to slough the prairie's clay-like soil, Deere's new steel plow was just what area farmers needed. The first plow was made from an old circular saw and the first batch of steel came from England in 1843. Pittsburgh steel began arriving at his planned new factory in Moline in 1846. The factory opened two years later utilizing the Mississippi River for transportation to the markets.