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How Did The Steel Plow Impact Society: Critical Essay

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This essay will argue that John Deere was a very successful man in the farming industry. John Deere was born. He invented the first steel plow ever. John Deere designed his first steel plow for Midwestern farmers as a 33-year-old blacksmith. Deere began the first-ever commercially successful steel plow. Closely, it parallels the settlement and development of the Midwestern United States. When Deere was younger before he created the steel plow he was anything but successful. As he started to grow older, in 1837 he had an idea to invent a steel plow but the soil was different and the East and Wood plows kept breaking down so he decided to make his own to see if it would work better than the East and Wood plows.

He finished his big project in 1838. However, his success in building plows made his company grow into a multinational giant. By 1848, Deere dissolved his partnership with Andrus and moved the business to Moline, Illinois. Moving the company offered the advantages of cheaper coal and water-powered transportation. He began making plows as fast as possible, instead of following the standard business practice of waiting for a customer to order a plow before making it. Continuing to grow and grow, the company was making plows at the rate of 500 plows a day by 1877. Grand Detour, however In 1850, about 1,600 plows were made, and the company was soon producing other tools to complement its steel plow. The polished steel plow became popular due to its ability to cut through sticky prairie soil and it resulted in a demand for Deere to build more over the next five years. The company almost annually took home prizes for plows at the Illinois State Fair in the Agricultural Implements category. John Deere allowed families who were unable to continue making payments on their previously purchased plows and tractors to keep the equipment.

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The company was forced to lay off some of its workers and shorten hours during the great depression. Although it still did cover insurance for those laid in company houses and lowered rent in company houses during this time. The company surpassed its biggest competitor in 1963 and has held on to the title of largest producer and seller of farm equipment since then. John Deere’s name is known worldwide the company is normally ranked in the top 100 on the list of best global brands and works to cultivate “CFL” or “Customers for Life.” Some customers are so loyal they show their love for the company in a more permanent way. John Deere released the Deere Leader, the Deere Roadster, and the Moline Special. The company got out of bicycle manufacturing. He said he made his first steel plow from a broken saw blade. He started noticing that people were bringing in broken plows over and over again. The wood and cast iron ones farmers were using were designed for sandy soil and had a tendency to break or get stuck in the thick, heavy soil of the Midwest.

He came up with a different idea; legends say he thought that if you sharpened and polished could easily cut through the soil. In 1837 he used a broken saw blade and polished and sharpened it to perfection, to create a plow. People think that he was not the first person to invent such a device. He is still very important in the farming industry. Deere never stopped trying to innovate and improve his plow much to the annoyance of his partners over the years, who wanted to settle in and turn a buck as much as a furrow. Not long and the soil would curl right off a Deere plow, sharpening the plow share as it did so. By the mid-1850s, Deere’s factory in Moline employed 65 workers. Each year it consumed 200,000 oak planks, used up nearly 100 tons of steel and 200 tons of iron, and burned 575 tons of coal. With the title of Plow King, it was perhaps inevitable that Deere would wield his power in politics. Almost as fast as it got into it, but ventured back into the manufacturing of two-wheeled vehicles in the 1970s and currently sells some children’s bikes. After retiring from the plow business, Deere remained an active member of his community. He was the founder and president of the National of Moline and continued to attend services at the First Congregational Church.

Overall this paper proves that John Deere was very successful in the farming industry. John Deere was not just important in the 1800s he is also important today because we are the number one farmers in the world. U.S. Americans would not have all these machines we have today if it were not for him.

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How Did The Steel Plow Impact Society: Critical Essay. (2023, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“How Did The Steel Plow Impact Society: Critical Essay.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2023,
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