John Deere Plow

The steel plow and polished moldboard developed by John Deere in 1838 cut through the tough roots of prairie grass far better than iron plows. This innovation made prairie farming more attractive and was instrumental in opening large Midwestern areas to agriculture. Deere quickly began manufacturing steel plows, then implements, and ultimately Deere & Company produced everything from tractors to combines, from mechanical cotton harvesters to riding lawnmowers.
Object Name
Date made
John Deere
Physical Description
wood (part: material)
iron (part: material)
steel (part: material)
overall: 380 mm x 460 mm x 1230 mm; 14 15/16 in x 18 1/8 in x 48 7/16 in
Place Made
United States: Illinois, Grand Detour
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
National Treasures exhibit
Artifact Walls exhibit
Artifact Walls
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Deere and Company, 1938
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

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