Heritage Acres Farm Museum is celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the John Deere Model D tractor at its Annual Show this weekend. The Model D, released in 1923, was the first piece of machinery to be built under the John Deere name.
The museum is the home to around 10 Model Ds and Ken Harness, president of the Oldman River Antique Equipment and Threshing Club, has one of his own.
“In 1939, my dad bought this tractor brand new and it’s been in the family ever since,” Ken said, tapping the hood.
In 1836, before the time of the tractor, a humble blacksmith from Vermont named John Deere fabricated a hardy steel plow that made it easier for farmers to manoeuvre soil. A year later he started up his own business, Deere and Company, building plows for farmers near and far.
By 1892 another inventor, John Froelich, built the first gasoline-powered tractor, starting up the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. In 1918 Deere and Company bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company, and tinkered with Waterloo Boy designs until 1923.
Introduced in 1923 and produced until 1953, the John Deere Model D tractor was a revolutionary machine in the agriculture industry. Based on the Waterloo Boy models, the Model D was a versatile, reliable and affordable two-cylinder row-crop tractor. It became one of the most successful tractors of its era, providing a foundation for the future triumphs of John Deere as a leader in agricultural equipment manufacturing.
During its 30-year circuit, the Model D received numerous updates and improvements, with variations in features to suit different farming needs.
The development of tractors caused a shift from livestock-based power to mechanical, allowing farmers to increase their efficiency and productivity while reducing the need for manual labour. The John Deere Model D was a groundbreaking tractor in its time and remains an iconic piece of history at Heritage Acres Farm Museum.
Don’t miss your chance to check out these legendary tractors during this weekend’s Annual Show. Event information is available here.