Who Invented the Steel Plow and How Has it Changed Over Time?

What is the Steel Plow and What Does It Do?

The steel plow was used to break up tough soil, bury crop residue, and help control weeds. Due to the rich soil in the Midwest of the United States, wood plows would commonly break. And even if the wood plow didn’t break, farmers would still have to stop every few minutes to clear soil that had clumped on the blade, resulting in minimal efficiency.

How Did the Steel Plow Improve Agriculture?

During the time period in which the steel plow was introduced, transformation and efficiency were becoming crucial factors of life everywhere, especially within the agriculture industry. By moving on from wood to steel, John Deere helped farmers scour the sticky soil more easily than ever before. While steel was extremely hard to find at the time, it was the perfect material to cut through this soil without the soil getting stuck to the plow. This resulted in better tillage conditions than those produced with a wood plow, which was the most common, and accessible, option at the time. The steel plow also addressed the efficiency issues farmers faced when using the wood plow because it was much stronger and could, therefore, tackle more work.

How Has the Steel Plow Changed Over Time?

The original steel plow had only one shank but over time, John Deere continuously added shanks to improve the machinery. When this piece of equipment was first introduced, it was the first plow made of steel - with all the others having been made of wood. That being said, this material change wasn’t the only odd thing about the plow. The moldboard was also shaped differently - it was more of a parallelogram, which was curved. These curved contours were created perfectly for turning over soil, meaning that less soil was getting stuck.

Now, John Deere has continued to grow its agricultural machinery repertoire, manufacturing a variety of advanced machinery for improving farming and other land work.

Who Invented the Steel Plow?

John Deere invented the steel plow in 1837, in Grand Detour, Illinois when the Middle-West was first being settled. The soil was richer than that of the East and the farmer’s wood plows kept breaking.

For more information regarding the John Deere steel plow or related products, contact your local John Deere dealer

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