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Who Invented The Plow?

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The plow was created by John Deere, whose name may sound familiar because of the huge company he started that shares his name. John Deere and his company are responsible for creating many different garden, farming, and landscaping equipment items, but his seminal project was the plow. If you want to learn more about John Deere and his invention of the plow continue reading for some interesting facts about Deere and the plow.

John DeereJohn Deere.

Early career

John Deere started a small blacksmithing company in Illinois. His early start involved production and the manufacturing of farming tools. His work was necessary for the effective production of farm work throughout Illinois, and eventually his work would spread outside of the state.

John Deere's steel plowJohn Deere’s steel plow. Credit.

The first plow

Deere and a fellow worker collaborated on several designs for plows. They decided that there needed to be a better way to help farmers keep their fields cleared. In 1837, Deere decided to design his own type of steel plow that had sharp teeth that were necessary to cut through the terrain in the plains area. Also, the strong steel made it easier to mow over thick soil that normally clogged up machines that previously did the work of plows. Deere’s plow was so successful, that less than twenty years later Deere’s company was selling ten thousand plows a year to farmers in need.

Other claims

Prior to John Deere and his successes with plows, many others designed ideas similar to Deere’s, but none had the effectiveness or success that Deere experienced. Charles Newbold worked on plows in the early 1800’s, and he even received a patent for his product. However, his plow was not used widely out of his home territory of New Jersey, and it didn’t catch on in many other states. Another man associated with the plow was from New York. Jethro Wood designed a three-piece plow, received patents for it, and tried to sell it, but the plow didn’t have the effectiveness of Deere’s product. Many others felt that they were the inventor of the plow, and many, including Wood, spent a lot of time and money fighting to be recognized as the “Inventor of the Plow”.

More on the plow: Who invented the tractor?