“I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best that is in me."
- John Deere
John Deere was born in Rutland, Vermont, on February 7, 1804. He was educated in public schools and started his work life as a blacksmith's apprentice, working in various locations in Vermont.
Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois, in 1837 where he started the first blacksmith shop in that farming area.
Becoming familiar with the local plows, Deere noticed that the current cast-iron implements did not perform well, and required constant repair. Deere came up with two ideas: to use polished steel, and a more correct angle for the plow to pierce the soil.
Those fresh ideas inspired Deere to develop and sell improved plows. John Deere and his partner Major Leonard Andrus made 10 plows in 1839. By 1846, he was making a thousand. Deere moved his business to Moline, Illinois, in 1847. At first he purchased steel from England. By 1855, more than 10,000 plows were sold and Deere had gained a strong reputation for high-quality products.
John Deere formed a partnership with his son Charles in 1858, which they incorporated in 1868 as Deere and Company. John Deere remained as president of Deere and Company until his death in 1886, when he was succeeded by his son.
Deere and Company was incorporated in 1868. The firm blossomed from a one-man smithy into an international corporation that conducts business in more than 160 nations. Approximately 46,000 people work for John Deere, one of the oldest industrial companies in the United States.