The following information is a Web Extra from the pages of Farm Journal. It corresponds with the article "Machinery Milestone” by Margy Fischer. You can find the article in the September 2010 issue.
John Deere Harvester Works History
Deere enters the harvester business with a grain binder in rented buildings on the current site of John Deere Harvester Works. For the 1911 harvester season, 500 binders are produced.
Company breaks ground in August for John Deere Harvester Works on the current site of the factory. The buildings cover a floor space of 175,000 sq. ft.
Increased crop demand during World War I fuels an expansion in production. More than 33,000 horse-drawn machines are made (grain binders, mowers, rakes
and corn binders).
Deere introduces its first combine to harvest and thresh in one operation. A total of 38 No. 2 combines are sold, retailing at approximately $2,000.
With additional facilities since 1912, the Harvester Works grow to a total of 1,162,553 sq. ft. of buildings on 58 acres, including 12,820 sq. ft. of underground tunnels.
Deere acquires the No. 36 hillside combine from the Caterpillar Tractor Company.
Model 11A and 12A combines are introduced. The 12A becomes John Deere’s most popular PTO-driven model, with more than 116,000 units sold from 1939 to 1952.
Wartime employment depends heavily on women for production jobs. Other than ag products, Harvester Works manufactures airplane components such as wing sections and engine mounts for the Grumman Wildcat and Avenger and the Douglas C-54.
Introduction of the model 55 self-propelled combine, the first combine to center the operator on top and center and to locate the grain tank and engine behind the operator.
Introduction of the No. 10 corn head allows farmers to cut, shell and clean corn in one operation for the first time, up to 20 acres daily.
Introduction of the model 95 combine, the largest self-propelled combine at the time. More than 39,000 model 95 combines are manufactured through 1969.
Introduction of the New Generation line of combines featuring the patented Quick-Tatch header-mounting system.
Building V6, John Deere Harvester Works’ last addition, is completed, and the factory’s foundry is demolished.
John Deere Maximizer combines are introduced, making John Deere the leading combine manufacturer in the U.S. and Canada. In the same year, the factory implements a paint system that immerses the entire combine separator body in an electrostatic paint bath, the first time an agricultural company has used this technology.
John Deere STS combines are introduced. The Single-Tine Separation (STS) system represents a step forward in rotor technology, using less power and delivering superior material handling.
2006 to 2007
John Deere Harvester Works undertakes major factory restructuring.
John Deere 70 Series Combines are introduced, ranging from 265 hp to 440 hp.
John Deere Harvester Works manufactures its 500,000th self-propelled combine.