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Biography of Charles Deere

The American plow and the name of Deere are synonymous in the public mind. Neither widespread commercialism inspired by the plow nor its constant development toward perfection by other hands and minds has effaced the intimacy between the inventor and his invention. There is no such close sympathy between Fulton and the steamboat, Morse and the telegraph or others among the pioneers of practical ideas. The living force of most inventors has been in the ideas they have given to the world, but the perfection of these ideas has been carried forward by others. The living force of the Deere invention is the Deere plow and the Deere industry and the faithful association of the inventor with every phase of the development of his invention. The Deere plow was the product of the genius of John Deere, the father; the Deere industry was the triumph of business acumen akin to talent of Charles Henry Deere, the son. The Deere plow and the Deere industry have ever been foremost in setting a standard for agriculture and manufacture, both in perfection of the implement and the magnitude of the industry. Seldom has history brought into such close relation such a remarkable combination of practical genius and business capacity in father and son. They were true pioneers of American products in the markets of the world and they made the name of Deere a house hold term in every nation of the globe. Charles H. Deere was a typical American in a day and age conspicuous for individual achievement. The times called for men to develop the natural resources of the young...

Biography of John Deere

No citizen in Rock Island County, or throughout the country, was probably more widely known than John Deere of Moline. He was born at Rutland, Vermont, February 7, 1804, and died May 17, 1886. 1805 the family moved to Middlebury, Vermont, where the children attended school in a district schoolhouse, which had a long fire place across the end of the room. The reading, writing and little arithmetic obtained here, before he was twelve years old, was the principal educational start Mr. Deere had for life. He afterwards attended private school for a few months, but the inborn inclination for active practical work must assert itself, and the career began, which, for unconquerable energy, determined will, and self-made success, has few equals, if any superiors. Becoming tired of the schoolroom, he hired himself to a tanner to grind bark, and the pair of shoes and suit of clothes purchased with the wages were the first inclination the mother had of John’s doings. At the age of seventeen he became an apprentice to Captain Benjamin Lawrence, and began learning the blacksmith trade. He faithfully worked out his engagement of four years, and was then employed in the shop of William Wells and Ira Allen, to construct iron wagons, buggies and stagecoaches. A year later he was in Burlington, and did the entire wrought iron work on the saw and linseed oil mill built at Colchester Falls. This indicates the mechanical ability of the young man; for it must be remembered that work which is now done by machinery, in those days must depend upon the skill and strength of the...

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