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This Day In History, May 6th, 2022 – “John Deere Makes his Name”


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It was 185 years ago today, May 6, 1837, that a small-town blacksmith in Grand Detour, Illinois, gave to American farmers a gift almost as good as a steady rain, the first ever credited steel plow. Though there may have been something like John Deere’s invention before 1837, most farmers used wooden plows to furrow their fields. In the Midwest, the ground was apt to be harder than that of the soft east coast, and farmers could not get their plows deep enough for an effective crop. John Deere noticed this problem, and with an inward drive that has propelled many Americans to greatness, he provided an answer to this, a steel plow.

this day in history signals az may 6

John Deere, as an old and distinguished American. Image courtesy of Wikicommons, Public Domain.

By taking an old blade saw, Deere’s design cut deeply into the thick soil of the plains. This moldboard not only plowed deep into the earth, it also helped to turn the soil up, creating a large furrow so farmers did not have to go back a second time. This invention, combined with many others to come, would propel John Deere, his family, and many Americans into a future of wealth and prosperity for this great land.

What was happening yesterday, on May 5th?


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