John Deere was founded in 1837, by John Deere, who was an inventor and blacksmith fashioned a Patent Cary plow from a piece of discarded metal, notes Deere.com. The plow was revolutionary at the time, since it allowed farmers to cut furrows in the soil easily. The business gradually evolved into manufacturing plows, turning out 10 in 1839, 75 in 1841 and 100 plows in 1842.
By 1842, Deer had partnered with Leonard Andrus, and by 1848, the business moved from its home base to Moline, Illinois, to take advantage of water power during the manufacturing process. In 1849, Deere employed 16 people who built 2,136 plows.
Deere received the company's first patent in 1864 for a mold to cast steel plows, according to the Deere website. Deere incorporated in 1868 as Deere & Company with four original shareholders, including John Deere and his son Charles, who control the majority of the stock.
In 2013, the original plow fashioned by Deere was selected by the Smithsonian Institution as one of the 101 Objects that Made America. It was chosen from over 137 million artifacts owned by the Smithsonian Institute. Deere & Company celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2012 and is today a major player in the farming industry.