Thursday, September 25, 2008

John Deere

Today we honor John Deere for his invention of his self-scouring steel plow.

John Deere (1804-1886) developed a new plow that allowed farmers in Illinois to till tough clay-like soil. When he left his family to seek his fortune, he quickly learned that new pioneers were struggling with the tough soil of the "West" (ie: OH, IL, IN, KS, MO). Basically, the clay-like soil made farmers have to stop to clean the plow every few steps. Needless to say, this was not very productive. Deere soon discovered a way to battle the tough soil. The trick was to have highly polished steel and a moldboard with a new shape (picture above). The superior plow contributed to the increased food production of that time. Of course, he is largely remembered ad the founder of the agricultural machine producing giant that bears his name, but it all started as a simple blacksmith trying to find a better way to serve his customers. Click here for the long version of how he invented the plow.

John Deere on Wikipedia
John Deere
John Deere biography
Cool Time Line

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