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jonc231061 90696 41 JD AWD either
MOLINE, IL (March 13, 2004) — Deere & Company announced that
it has acquired the oldest known John Deere tractor and
today placed it on permanent display at the John Deere
Collectors Center in downtown Moline.

"This tractor is significant and we believe that everyone
interested in the history of agriculture and John Deere, as
well as those interested in history in general, will enjoy
seeing this tractor," said Curtis Linke, vice president of
corporate communications. "We appreciate that the Frank
Hansen family worked with us to make this happen."

The John Deere All-Wheel-Drive Tractor was acquired from the
estate of the late Frank Hansen of Rollingstone, Minnesota.
The machine is the only complete one known to still exist of
approximately one hundred tractors built by John Deere in
1918. Hansen's research determined that a John Deere dealer
in Winona, Minnesota, originally sold the tractor.

Creation of the John Deere All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) Tractor
came before the better-known John Deere Model D, which was
introduced in 1923 as the company's first two-cylinder
tractor and became the first John Deere tractor successful
enough for large-scale production.

The AWD tractor was unique and ahead of its time with
features many farmers enjoy in modern tractors today. The
operator of a John Deere AWD tractor could change travel
speeds under load without shifting gears or stopping and
without depressing the clutch. Additionally, the wheels
provided positive traction and pulling power.

It was a product of seven years of internal study and
experimentation to prepare John Deere to enter the tractor
market after the company's Board of Directors at the time
said Deere should prepare to do so if "an emergency" should
warrant taking such action.

In 1910, Deere & Company acquired Dain Manufacturing
Company, which made haying equipment in Ottumwa, Iowa. The
company's owner, Joseph Dain, was the driving force behind
the AWD tractor. At the time, leaders at John Deere still
considered plow manufacturing to be the company's core
business. Horses, oxen and mules were still the main source
of power on American farms but a dramatic shift was
occurring elsewhere – the automobile industry was taking off
and farmers were buying cars, learning about the advantages
of the internal combustion engine.

In 1912, Deere & Company began selling a tractor made by
another company and in 1914, Joseph Dain was asked to
determine the feasibility of building a light tractor
capable of pulling a 3-bottom plow to be sold for $700.
Experimental models followed and in 1916, the board gave its
approval to set up operations at the Marseilles Plant in
East Moline, Illinois – which was later named the John Deere
Spreader Works.

After the death of Joseph Dain, questions about the survival
of the John Deere tractor business loomed but the company's
Board of Directors moved ahead by authorizing the
manufacturing of at least 100 All-Wheel-Drive Tractors as
soon as possible.

Despite the quality and usefulness demonstrated in the AWD
tractor, its list price of $1,500 was still considered too
high to be practical. As well, John Deere started producing
wartime equipment instead of tractors later in 1917 as World
War I raged into its fourth year.

Then, the company purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine
Company in Waterloo, Iowa, where the lower-priced Waterloo
Boy Kerosene Burning Tracto
En nou in het Nederlands nog een keer :-D
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