Happy Birthday John Deere!
In honor of the man that started it all with a broken saw blade, go ahead and call Gustaf’s Greenery and send your favorite plow, tractor, combine or even lawn mower some birthday flowers!
Everyone is familiar with John Deere green, but many aren’t familiar with the man who actually founded those green beauties.
Born on February 7, 1804, John Deere (the man….not the piece of machinery) was born in Rutland, Vermont. After his father left for England and never returned (presumed to have died at sea), Deere was left to be raised by his single mother. Growing up with little schooling, Deere learned the trade of blacksmithing at the age of 17.
Having to provide for a family of his own, 32-year old Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois to work as a successful blacksmith.
After moving to Illinois, Deere noticed that farmers in the area were having difficulties turning the heavy soil. The farmers were using plows that were better suited for the sandy soil of the New England region. Seeing the need for a plow that was properly shaped, heavier and able to cut furrows through the dense soil, Deere took it upon himself to fix the problems. Using a busted saw blade, the first John Deere plow was born in 1837.
After an increase of production of his plows, Deere entered into a partnership with Leonard Andrus, but that partnership soon dissolved. By 1848, Deere moved his business to Moline, Illinois. By 1850, roughly 1,600 plows had been made and Deere had begun producing other tools along with the plows.
In 1858, Deere gave leadership of his great Green company to his son, while he enjoyed a life in civic and political activities.
John Deere died on May 17, 1886, at his home in Moline.