This Day in History
Days of Splendor

John Deere Born
February 7, 1804

John Deere was born February 7, 1804 in Rutland, Vermont. As a teenager, Deere learned the blacksmith trade. By the 1830’s, the people living in Vermont were suffering from an economic depression and Deere, along with others like him, moved to the mid-west with the hope of prosperity.

Deere learned of the difficulties the farmers were having using plows that were meant for the sandy soil in the east. He and Leonard Andrus designed and sold three new plows, which brought much success to the fledgling business. Deere sold his interest in the company to his partner and started a new company in Moline, Illinois. He designed the first plow made from imported English steel and by 1855 was selling more than 13,000 of them a year. In 1868, he officially incorporated his company, Deere & Company, which still exists today.

This painting by Mort Künstler, Days of Splendor, shows another product manufactured by Deere & Company, the GP Wide Tread Tractor, made in the 1930’s.

March's Archived Features:

Sunday March 1, 2020
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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.