1876_logoThe first trademark using the leaping deer was registered in1876, although registration papers indicate the mark had been used for the previous three years. John Deere was well established in Moline by this time, his company producing more than 60,000 plows a year. They were commonly referred to as Moline plows because of the factory location. The need for an official registered trademark became apparent. An official trademark was also the only means that could provide positive protection against copying and deception.

That first trademark shows a deer bounding over a log, the words “John Deere” above and the words “Moline, Ill.” beneath the figure. It is interesting to note that this original trademark represented a type of deer common to Africa, and only in future trademarks was the native North American white-tailed deer portrayed.

Between 1876 and the early 1900s, the company grew dramatically. Deere & Company acquired several non-competing factories, manufacturing a variety of distinctive agricultural implements, during this period. A new trademark was needed to reflect the company’s expansion, while providing uniformity for its burgeoning product line.

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