The John Deer Company is one company that won the hearts of many Americans, especially those in the Midwestern United States. This is a story that captures the ideals and the core values of many Americans and that is because it was founded on the commitment to deliver quality services while still maintaining an overall level of integrity. In this article, we shall discuss the major milestones in this company.
1837 – 1848
In 1837, John Deere fashioned a polished steel-plough in his Grand Detour. This was an Illinois blacksmith shop that enabled pioneer farmers to cut clean furrows through the then sticky Midwest prairies soil.
In 1838, the John Deere evolved from a blacksmith to a manufacturer and would later lead the construction of 10 plows in 1839 as well as 75 and 100 more in 1841 and 1842 respectively, before adding retailing to his business in 1942 which included filling orders for the Patent CARY Plow. John Deere co-partnered with Leonard Andrus in 1843 where they joined efforts to perfect their blacksmithing and plow-making art.
Five years later, their plow business became too big for Grand Detour and the duo decided to expand it by moving to Moline, about 75 miles southwest of Grand Detour. Their new location added some perks to their business such as transportation and water, and it is also here that John chose a new partner named Robert N. Tate. By July 28th the same year, Tate had moved to Moline and raised the rafters on their 3-story blacksmith shop.
1849 – 1858
In 1849, 2136 plows were built by a workforce of about 16 and three years later, Deere bought out his partners. The company would be known variously as John Deere, Deere &Company, John Deere & Company, and Moline Plow Factory for the next 16 years.
Deere’s 16-year old son named Charles would later join the company in 1853 as a bookkeeper upon graduating from a commercial college in Chicago.
In 1858, the business took a beating from the then nationwide financial panic and the company swiftly moved to shuffle the ownership and managerial arrangements as a move to arrest any possibilities of going under. He became president before passing power to his now 21-year-old Charles who would hold the reins for 49 years.
1864 – 1867
In 1864, John Deere obtained the company’s first actual patent for molds that was used in casting steel plows and a few months later, he would follow with another one before the third the following year.
The first notable legal action taken by this company was in 1867 when he sued a competitor named Candee, Swan & Co. for trademark infringement, a case that would have precedent-setting implications in the formulation and/or application of laws relating to trademark.
1867 – 1869
In 1868, the company changed status from a sole proprietorship to an incorporated company under the name Deere & Company. The company would start with 4 shareholders before moving to 6 within the first year of inception, with Charles and John alone commanding a whopping 65% of the company’s stock.
The establishment of the first branch house by Charles Deere and Alvah Mansur, known as Deere, Mansur &Co. in Kansas City in the year 1869 would act as the forerunner of the current farm and industrial equipment sales branches and sales region.
Here is a video outline the rest of the history of the company