Deere me: This car is not farm implement – Larry Edsall

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Today we know John Deere for its green-and-yellow farm tractors, but more than a century ago, the company from Moline, which forms a quarter of the Quad Cities on either side of the Mississippi River, also was in the motorcar business.

Facing bankruptcy in Vermont, blacksmith John Deere moved in 1804 to Illinois and began making tools. In 1837, he turned a steel saw blade into a plow that could strip itself of the rich soil of the Midwest and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Deere’s son, Charles, and son-in-law, Stephen Veile, would become major stockholders in what in 1868 became Deere & Company

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