1880 Wagons enter the product line early in the decade, soon followed by buggies. By century’s end, company catalogs will feature Old Hickory, New Moline, and Mitchell wagons, as well as Derby, Red Star, White Elephant, Victoria, Goldsmith, and Sterling buggies.

1882 Deere & Mansur Company corn planters, employing an innovative rotary planting mechanism, turn a $48,000 profit.

1883 The five best-selling products between 1879 and 1883 are walking plows, Gilpin sulkies, cultivators, shovel plows, and harrows. Walking plows account for more unit sales (224,062) than the other four combined.

1884 Prices decline in the 1870s, 1880s and 1890s.

1886 John Deere dies in Moline at 82.

1887The company begins to pay health-and-accident benefits to employees.

1888 Stearn tractors appear on American farms during the 1880s. Deere makes gang plows that tractors can pull, but not the tractors. The “Steam Age” lasts about 30 years, until the “snorting, puffing giant” is replaced by the gasoline tractor.

1889 The company’s five key branches are in place at Kansas City, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Council Bluffs/Omaha, and San Francisco.

1890 Deere’s board recommends selling the company. A British syndicate and other suitors appear, but deals fall through and the company remains independent. The Sherman Antitrust Act passes. Among other things, it makes price-fixing through trade associations illegal.

1891 By about this time, most farm machinery dependent upon horse power has been discovered.

1892 Charles Deere’s daughter, Katherine, marries William Butterworth, who will succeed him as the company’s CEO. Charles’ daughter, Anna, marries William D. Wiman. Their son, Charles Deere Wiman, will succeed Butterworth.

1893 The Panic of 1893, touched off by a New York stock market crash, begins the worst depression of the 19th century.

1894 A bicycle craze grips the country. Branch catalogs push the Deere Leader, the Deere Roadster, and the Moline Special. The fad fizzles in a few years. (In the 1970s, the company returns briefly to the bicycle business.)

1895 The Furrow debuts. It grows into one of the world’s preeminent farmer’s magazines. As the 20th century ends, it is published in 12 languages and distributed in more than 40 countries. Circulation is more than 1.5 million in 1999.

1898 The Spanish-American War breaks out in April. When it ends in December, Spain has lost Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Wake Island, and the Philippines to the US.

1899 Farm crops top American exports throughout the 19th century, never dropping below 65 percent of total exports in any decade, sometimes surpassing 85 percent. The John Deere Youngblood Driving Buggy is being built in St. Louis. Its lightweight and tall wheels make it easy to be pulled by a single horse, even at a trot.

Copyright© 2003 Deere & Company Archives

 

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