Deere’s second manufactured plow THE INVENTION OF THE STEEL PLOW CHANDLER VAUGHAN PARTS OF JOHN DEERE’S PLOW HISTORY OF THE PLOW • The first plows were used around 4,000 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia • Then, they were only large sticks pointed with oxen horns that were pulled or pushed through the ground. Map of where the first plow was used DEVELOPMENTS • The plow first developed in Egypt around 2,000 B.C.E. • To increase tillage speed, the Egyptians added a wider furrow, or sod cutting portion to the plow. • In the 11th century B.C.E., the Israelites added an iron share to the plow, decreasing cultivation time. THE PLOW IN WESTERN EUROPE • In England several more advances were made to the plow: • Jethro Tull added a cutting portion to the plow to slice the hard sod along with interchangeable parts • Robert Ransome added a cast iron plow share and a selfsharpening blade • Lastly, while serving as Minister to France, Thomas Jefferson created a mathematical formula to create rows during the plowing process. PLOW IN EASTERN AMERICA • The iron plow was brought over with the settlers to the first settlement at Jamestown. • By 1650 the Virginia Colony had over 150 plows. • The iron plow worked excellent in the east due to the sandy soil characteristics Interpretation of the tobacco industry in Jamestown WESTWARD EXPANSION • After the Louisiana Purchase, America was free to travel past the Mississippi River • After arrival the settlers noticed that the iron plow had several flaws in breaking and cultivating the soil. • The soil in the Midwest had a characteristic that caused it to stick to the iron plow. Depiction of the constant scraping to remove the dirt from the iron plow SOLVING THE PROBLEM • In reality, the first steel plow was not created by John Deere. It was created by John Lane. • Lane discovered and created the first steel plow four years before Deere. • Lane is not credited with the discovery because he did not publicize his invention and did not apply for a patent JOHN DEERE BEFORE THE PLOW • John Deere, before inventing the steel plow, lived as a blacksmith in Rutland, Vermont. • As his business began to decline, Deere sold his shop to his father in law and left the sale’s proceeds to his wife and four children. • Soon after Deere moved to Grand Detour, Illinois and opened a new blacksmithing business. THE INVENTION • Soon after arrival, Deere heard of the issues of cultivation. • To begin the solution, Deere visited a local sawmill and took a broken steel sawmill blade. • He then heated and hammered the blade into the shape of a plow share. THE INVENTION(CONT.) • After the shaping process, Deere crafted the steel to the previously iron plow share and began to test it. • The first plow was tested at the farm of Joseph Brieton just south of Grand Detour. • After several trials, Deere’s plow withstood all tests and did not retain the sticky traits of the iron plow. Photograph depicting the appearance of the first steel plow PUBLICATION • Word of mouth advertising quickly spread the news of the steel plow • Deere’s business quickly expanded over the next several years. Plows were sold at twelve dollars a piece to remain marketable and competitive. • • • • In 1840 – forty plows In 1841 – seventy-five In 1842 – one hundred In 1843 – four hundred EXPANSION OF THE BUSINESS • For the remainder of the 19th century, Deere’s business continued to prosper. • The century was characterized by relocations, executive changes, mergers, and expansion. • One major milestone came in 1878, when Deere and Company experienced its first million dollar sales year. JOHN DEERE TODAY • From his first plow, John Deere created a company that is today, the largest manufacturer and supplier of farm implements. • His sales revenues have grown from under one thousand per year to today where his worldwide company grosses billions of dollars per year. • John Deere’s invention of the steel plow gave the expansionists the ability to permanently settle the Midwest BIBLIOGRAPHY "56" Circular Sawmill Blade." 56" Circular Sawmill Blade. N.p., n.d. 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