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John Deere plow with steel share (cutting blade) and wooden beam
 

John Deere Plow
1830s

A steel plow built for the prairies
This steel plow was John Deere's answer to the heavy, sticky soils of the American prairies. Deere was a Vermont blacksmith who, in the mid-1830s, headed west and eventually settled in Grand Detour, IL. There, he found that the wood and cast-iron plow that was used in the eastern United States was not suited to the Midwest. Deere began experimenting. In 1836, he invented the first steel plow that could till prairie soil without clogging.

Notes
John Deere, born February 7, 1804, Rutland, VT.; died May 17, 1886, Moline, IL.
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Learn more!
· "Steaming into the Future" by Diotima Booraem, "Smithsonian" magazine, September 1998
· American Westward Migration

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