1860 Operating now as the Moline Plow Manufactory, Charles Deere signs all advertising literature and promotional literature with his own name.
1861 Civil War begins. Midwest farmers and their suppliers prosper during the war years as Army demand and European crop failures boost crop prices.
1862 Large-scale Midwest farming develops during the war. Farm machinery improves, enabling expansion even by small farmers.
1863 The company makes the Hawkeye Riding Cultivator, the first Deere implement adapted for riding.
1864 John Deere obtains the company's first actual patent for moulds used in casting steel plows. Another follows in a few months and a third the next year.
1865 Demarius Lamb Deere, John Deere's wife, dies at age 60. He returns to Vermont, reacquainting himself with Lucenia Lamb, her sister. They marry the next year.
1866 A Civil War legacy is an army of farmers handicapped by severe injuries. Others are hurt in farm accidents. Hawkeye Riding Cultivator advertisements note that "A one-arm or one-legged man can manage it." Another manufacturer features a sulky plow, "especially adapted for small boys, old men and cripples."
1867 Charles Deere sues Candee, Swan & Co., a competitor, for trademark infringement. The case has precedent-setting implications for trademark law. Could Deere preempt the word "Moline" which it has been using in its advertising, so that no similar product could incorporate it? The ultimate answer is no. The Walking Cultivator is patented in August 1867. Although farmers might prefer riding, the lower cost of this unit makes it sell even though the man has to walk in soft ground while straddling a row of corn.
1868 After 31 years as a partnership or single proprietorship, the concern is incorporated under the name Deere & Company. There are four shareholders at first, six within a year. Charles and John Deere control 65 percent of the stock.
1869 Charles Deere and Alvah Mansur establish the first branch house, Deere, Mansur & Co., in Kansas City. A semi-independent distributor of Deere products within a certain geographic area, it is the forerunner of the company's current farm and industrial-equipment sales branches and sales regions.
1870 Five basic product lines dominate the company's output through the end of the19th century; plows, cultivators, harrows, drills and planters, and wagons and buggies.
1871 The Order of Patrons of Husbandry-the Grange-gains strength among farmers discontented with low prices and high costs.
1872 Virulent Grange attacks occur throughout the 1870s on the "middleman" (farm-machinery dealer) and the "monopolist" (farm-machinery manufacturer). Some Granges attempt manufacturing, unsuccessfully.
1873 The Panic of 1873, triggered by failure of a New York banking house, begins the depression of the 1870s. John Deere is elected mayor of Moline, and serves a year.
1874 Grasshopper attacks worsen economic conditions of Midwest farmers. Still, the Deere business grows. more than 50,000 plows are sold.
1875 Gilpin Moore develops the Gilpin Sulky Plow. It takes the farmer off his feet, puts him on a seat, and becomes one of the company's most successful 19th-century products.
1876 Noting sagging business prospects and skyrocketing bad debts, the company institutes a ten-percent wage cut. A brief strike ends and workers return to work on the company's terms. The "leaping dear" trademark appears.
1877 Deere & Mansur Company is formed in Moline to manufacture corn planters. A separate organization from the similarly named Kansas City branch, it will become part of Deere & Company in 1909.
Copyright© 2003 Deere & Company Archives