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February 7, 1804 – John Deere’s birthday
This Day

February 7, 1804 – John Deere’s birthday

On this day in 1804 John Deere was born in Vermont. After apprenticing as a blacksmith, he found work in Burlington before opening his own shops in Vergennes, and later in Leicester. Facing financial troubles, Deere headed west, eventually settling in Grand Detour, Illinois in 1836. He easily found work in his trade, for a lack of blacksmiths lived in the area. This move, however, exposed him to one such trouble, a sticky, clay soil that traditional cast iron plows had difficulty turning. Above: John Deere. Top John Deere Model D. (John Deere Archives) Inspired by polished steel pitchforks and the ease at which they pierced the soil, he set out to build a plow for the Midwest. The resulting cast steel plow framed by wrought iron debuted in 1837. The new style of plow found great...

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