John Deere Model D Tractor

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The John Deere Model D tractor was introduced in 1923 and became the first tractor built, marketed, and named John Deere. It replaced the Waterloo Boy in the company's product line. The two-cylinder kerosene-burning engine produced 15 horsepower at the drawbar and 22 at the belt. It also featured a high-tension ignition and an enclosed drive train. In the mid-1920s, a farmer could obtain a Model D for about a thousand dollars. Deere and Company donated both this Model D tractor and also a Waterloo Boy tractor to the Smithsonian Institution in 1966. The serial number of the Smithsonian's Model D is 30940; it weighs over two tons.
Since the 1903 appearance of the Hart-Parr line of tractors, farmers had turned from steam traction engines to lighter and more practical internal combustion engine tractors. Most farmers did not need a large tractor just one that was versatile and could do both field and belt work. Farmers became increasingly aware of the importance of dealer support, so they turned to machines that were not only dependable but that could be repaired by experts. The Model D competed with McCormick-Deering, Hart-Parr, Rumely, and other tractors.
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John Deere
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Work and Industry: Agriculture
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National Museum of American History


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