Checking Out the John Deere Tractor Brand

Checking Out the John Deere Tractor Brand

The John Deere Tractors have become established as a well known quality brand, able to tackle the most demanding jobs in the field in just about any ecosystem. Many people know and trust the John Deere brand, but very few people know its history. The precursor to the monster workhorse known as the John Deere tractor today was a simple plow developed in the 19th century.

John Deere was a journeyman blacksmith born in Vermont and who did his best to make a living. His efforts succeeded as many people bought his forks and shovels. However, troubled economic times began to depress the Vermont vicinity and John Deere decided that he had better follow the path of so many and “go west” and join pioneers in search of greater opportunity. With little cash and a few tools he moved to Grand Detour, Illinois. Within days of his arrival his sets as a blacksmith were needed. He worked with the pioneer farmers who needed equipment to till the land, but he noticed that the cast-iron plows they were using were not effective against the thick soil of the Midwest. Deere used a broken saw blade to develop a plow made of steel, and the tool worked very well. In fact, it was this singular discovery that made the plowing and farming of the Midwest already possible, and in short order Deere found that he was about to become an incredibly successful and wealthy man.

Deere established his company in Moline in 1848 and put his son Charles responsible for running the firm. It was called Deere and Company and over time began to grow by acquisition of other farm companies as it expanded its product line. Industrialization in the early 20th century catapulted the Deere brand into the modern brand of plows (tractors) we know today. This was made possible by the invention of the combustion engine and thereafter Deere purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company to start developing his line of tractors.

As the product line of tractors began to evolve, a seminal meaningful development came in 1947 with the invention of the form M Tractor. This was a 2 cylinder tractor with a 20 horsepower engine. It had more than 20 implements and used the Touch-O-Matic hydraulic system. The system put control of the tractor’s operation within the operator’s hand. Instead of having to dismount and readjust as with prior tractors, the driver could use a functional lever to make all of the adjustments using the hydraulic system. The Deere Company also additional a kind of plug and play functionality to their tractors in what they called their “Quik-Tatch”mechanism. Using this technology a driver could add and detach implements to the tractor as needed, without the need to dismount from his seat. All of these enhancements met with wide general acceptance from farmers who appreciated the time, energy and labor saved from the improved efficiency.

The distinctive John Deere logo can be recognized everywhere around the country, and already around the globe. Although the design has experienced changes since its inception, the basic logo with a leaping deer has remained the same. The current logo uses a green and yellow color scheme. While no specific history exists on the choice of the use of this color scheme, it has been safe to assume that this was chosen because these are the simple colors of agriculture.

It might be hard to imagine that there are truly collectors who scoop up John Deere branded items, but that is exactly the case. There is a whole line of John Deere branded paraphernalia that people can buy. The company already has its own John Deere tractor miniatures which it peddles to an eager buying public. These items and antiques of early John Deere tractors can be seen in a museum in Moline, Illinois, along with other hands on activities and educational displays.

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