1900 In the 1899-1900 FY, aggregate business exceeds $2 million for the first time.
1901 Twenty implement makers, including Deere & Company and Deere & Mansur Company, announce plans to combine into the "American Plow Company." Charles Deere is the driving force, but the proposal collapses.
1902 The three major harvesting manufacturers create the International Harvester Company.
1903 George Mixter, plow-factory superintendent, persuades the company to install extensive environmental controls in the grinding room.
1904 The St. Louis branch territory is split. The Dallas office becomes a full-fledged branch.
1905 For much of the decade, Deere decision-makers ponder responses to the aggressive, acquisitive IH, whose line now includes manure spreaders, wagons, engines, and other products.
1906 Congress passes the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the Meat Inspection Act.
1907 Charles Deere dies. William Butterworth, his son-in-law, becomes CEO. The company establishes a non-contributory pension plan for employees with 20 or more years of service who have passed age 65.
1908 George Washington Carver finds new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans, thus helping diversify Southern agriculture. The Ford Model T appears, heralding the mass production of automobiles.
1909 With affordable housing for some workers a problem, the company joins with the Deere estate to build 50 homes. By 1920, 315 homes and apartments have been built for employees in Moline and East Moline. Some are sold, and some rented. After WWII, the company builds 111 more houses in Dubuque.
1910 Directors launch a major reorganization. Its goal is a consolidated entity controlled by the Deere & Company board. The plan unifies factories and branches, anticipates acquisitions, and centralizes accounting and financial planning. top <../chron/1900.html>
1911 Experimental work in the first two decades of the 20th century increases disease-resistant plant varieties, plant yields and quality, and productivity of farm animals strains. For the first time, the company issues 400.000 shares of preferred stock. The shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange the following year.
1912 The modern Deere & Company emerges. It consists of 11 manufacturing entities in the US and one in Canada, and 25 sales organizations-20 in the US, including an export department, and five in Canada. The company also operates a sawmill and owns 41,731 acres of timberland in Arkansas and Louisiana. Harvester Works built in East Moline.
1913 IH executives note that Deere has begun building a harvester factory in East Moline, indicating it intends to compete in International's traditional market. Retaliating, they buy two plow manufacturers, thus invading Deere's traditional turf.
1914 WWI begins. The Clayton Anti-Trust Act outlaws contracts that prohibit purchasers from buying or handling products of a seller's competitors. Full-line equipment makers like Deere have long pressed dealers not to stock competing products.
1915 New technology poses vexing questions to equipment makers: Is the gasoline engine tractor a major innovation that will be adopted widely? If so, should implement makers buy them from specialist manufacturers or make them themselves?
1916 Competitors enter the growing tractor business. Deere builds experimental and prototype models, but delays decisive action on producing what will become the most important tool of modern agriculture.
1918 Deere buys the maker of Waterloo Boy tractors. The tractor will become its basic product. Though 5,634 Waterloo Boys are sold this year, Ford Motor Company sells 34,167 Fordson tractors. WWI ends; of 1,611 Deere employees who served, 37 died.
1919 Labor turmoil spreads throughout the country. A bitter three-month strike over union recognition breaks out in Waterloo, the most serious employee relations strife Deere has so far experienced. The strike ends with Deere remaining non-union.Copyrightę 2003 Deere & Company Archives