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“The Original Steel Plow” and John Deere, 1882

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Courtesy of John Deere, "The Original Steele Plow," 1882


In the mid-1800s, Iowans worked very hard to produce a corn crop in the thick prairie sod. In Illinois, our neighbor to the east, John Deere was working as a blacksmith when he had an amazing idea.  More than 175 years later, the company he started is still an industry leader in new agriculture innovations. This article tells Deere's story of innovation.

Transcript of "The Original Steel Plow" Text

Source-Dependent Questions

  • How did John Deere get the idea for his invention?
  • Make an inference - who would benefit from Deere's steel plow?
  • In what ways did a steel plow represent an innovation or improvement to how fields were plowed?

Citation Information 

"The Original Steele Plow," 1882. Courtesy of John Deere