John Deere developed the first steel plow. In 1868 he incorporated his business Deere & Company which is still in business today.

John Deere was born in Rutland, Vermont. He began his career as a blacksmith's apprentice in 1821. He earned $30 a year, and a valuable education. By 1925, Deere had earned a reputation for his smithing, especially his quality pitchforks. Things were going well in 1831 and an investor, Jay Wright, helped him open his own blacksmith shop. The shop burned down. So Deere built another, which also burned down. Jay Wright became irate and sued John Deere at which point Deere moved to Illinois and built another shop which didn't burn down.

As he was doing his blacksmith thing, Deere was looking at a broken saw blade when he theorized that steel would be a better material to build a plow with (as opposed to iron or wood). So he built a prototype. 20 years later, Deere was producing 10,000 steel plows a year from his factory.

The John Deere company still makes farm equipment--and some of the coolest tractors and rider mowers. They have a website at

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