Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc was an American businessman. He joined the California company McDonald's in 1954, after the McDonald brothers had franchised 6 locations out from their original 1940 operation in San Bernardino; this set the stage for national expansion with the help of Kroc leading to a global franchise, making it the most successful fast food corporation in the world. Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, amassed a fortune during his lifetime, he owned the San Diego Padres baseball team from 1974 until his death in 1984. Kroc was born on October 5, 1902 in Oak Park, near Chicago, to parents of Czech origin, Rose Mary and Alois "Louis" Kroc, his father was from the village of Břasy near Plzeň, now the Czech Republic. Kroc's father had made a fortune speculating on land during the 1920s, only to lose everything with the stock market crash in 1929. Ray Kroc spent most of his life in Oak Park. During World War I, he lied about his age and became a Red Cross ambulance driver at the age of 15 years old, unknowingly alongside Walt Disney.
The war, ended shortly after he enlisted. During the Great Depression, Kroc worked a variety of jobs selling paper cups, as a real estate agent in Florida, sometimes playing the piano in bands. After World War II, Kroc found employment as a milkshake mixer salesman for the foodservice equipment manufacturer Prince Castle; when Prince Castle Multi-Mixer sales plummeted because of competition from lower-priced Hamilton Beach products, Kroc was impressed by Richard and Maurice McDonald who had purchased eight of his Multi-Mixers for their San Bernardino, California restaurant, visited them in 1954. Kroc became convinced that the concept and design of this small chain had the potential to expand across the nation. Having been in one thousand kitchens, Kroc believed the McDonald brothers had the best-run operation he had seen; the restaurant was clean, modern and the staff professional and well-groomed. Roadside hamburger restaurants were more than not hangouts for motorcycle gangs and rebellious teenagers, Kroc saw in McDonald's a better vision for a restaurant.
He once said "In my experience, hamburger joints are nothing but jukeboxes, pay phones, smoking rooms, guys in leather jackets. I wouldn't take my wife to such a place and you wouldn't take your wife either."In 1955, Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchised under his partnership with the McDonald brothers in Des Plaines, Illinois. The restaurant was demolished in 1985. Recognizing its historic and nostalgic value, in 1990 the McDonald's Corporation acquired the stand and rehabilitated it to a modern but nearly original condition, built an adjacent museum and gift shop to commemorate the site now called McDonald's #1 Store Museum. After finalizing the franchise agreement with the McDonald brothers, Kroc sent a letter to Walt Disney, they had met as ambulance attendant trainees at Old Greenwich, Connecticut during World War I. Kroc wrote, "I have recently taken over the national franchise of the McDonald's system. I would like to inquire if there may be an opportunity for a McDonald's in your Disney Development".
According to one account, Disney agreed under stipulation to increase fries from ten cents to fifteen cents, allowing himself the profit. Kroc refused to gouge his loyal customers, leaving Disneyland to open without a McDonald's restaurant. Journalist Eric Schlosser, writing in his book Fast Food Nation, believes that this is a doctored retelling of the transaction by some McDonald's marketing executives. Most the proposal was returned without approval. Kroc has been credited with making a number of innovative changes in the food-service franchise model. Chief among them was the sale of only single-store franchises instead of selling larger, territorial franchises, common in the industry at the time. Kroc recognized that the sale of exclusive licenses for large markets was the quickest way for a franchisor to make money, but he saw in the practice a loss in the franchisor's ability to exert control over the course and direction of a chain's development. Above all else, in keeping with contractual obligations with the McDonald brothers, Kroc wanted uniformity in service and quality among all of the McDonald's locations.
Without the ability to influence franchisees, Kroc knew that it would be difficult to achieve that goal. By granting a franchisee the right to only one store location at a time, Kroc retained for the franchise some measure of control over the franchisee. Kroc's policies for McDonald's included establishing locations only in suburban areas, not in downtowns since poor people might eat in them after the main business hours were over. Restaurants were to be kept properly sanitized at all times, the staff must be clean, properly groomed and polite to children; the food was to be of a fixed, standardized content and restaurants were not allowed to deviate from specifications in any way. There was to be no waste of anything, Kroc insisted. No cigarette machines or pinball games were allowed in any McDonald's. Kroc had difficulty in enforcing his strict policies in the beginning as several California franchisees began offering things that were not supposed to be on the menu, altering prices, the recipes, or committing various other offenses.
For a time, Kroc held off on licensing more McDonald's in California, preferring to concentrate on the Midwest, where he believed people were more conservative and less to challenge authority. Kroc had a contemptuous opinion of MBAs and people who atte
Mary Kay Ash
Mary Kay Ash was an American businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. Mary Kay Ash, born Mary Kathlyn Wagner in Hot Wells, Harris County, was the daughter of Edward Alexander and Lula Vember Hastings Wagner, her mother was trained as a nurse and became a manager of a restaurant in Houston. Ash attended Dow Elementary School and Reagan High School in Houston, graduated in 1934. Ash married Ben Rogers at age 17, they had three children, Ben Jr. Marylin Reed and Richard Rogers. While her husband served in World War II, she sold. After her husband's return in 1945, they divorced. Ash went to work for Stanley Home Products. Frustrated when passed over for a promotion in favor of a man that she had trained, Ash retired in 1963 and intended to write a book to assist women in business; the book turned into a business plan for her ideal company, in the summer of 1963, Mary Kay Ash and her new husband, George Hellenbeck, planned to start Mary Kay Cosmetics. However, one month before Mary Kay and George started Beauty by Mary Kay, as the company was called, George died of a heart attack.
One month after George's death on September 13, 1963 when she was 45 years old with a $5,000 investment from her oldest son, Ben Rogers, Jr. and with her young son, Richard Rogers taking her late husband's place, Ash started Mary Kay Cosmetics. The company started its original storefront operation in Dallas. Both during her life and posthumously, Ash received numerous honors from business groups, including the Horatio Alger Award. Ash was inducted into the Junior Achievement U. S. Business Hall of Fame in 1996. A long-time fundraiser for charities, she founded the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation to raise money to combat domestic violence and cancers affecting women. Ash served as Mary Kay Cosmetics' chairman until 1987. Fortune magazine recognized Mary Kay Inc. with inclusion in "The 100 best companies to work for in America." The company was named one of the best 10 companies for women to work. Her most recent acknowledgements were the "Equal Justice Award" from Legal Services of North Texas in 2001, "Most Outstanding Woman in Business in the 20th Century" from Lifetime Television in 1999.
Ash and her partners, which included her son, took the company public in 1968. In 1985, the company's board decided to take the company private again after seventeen years as a public company. Ash remained active in Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. until suffering a stroke in 1996. Richard Rogers was named CEO of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc. in 2001. At the time of Ash's death, Mary Kay Cosmetics had over 800,000 representatives in 37 countries, with total annual sales over $200 million; as of 2014, Mary Kay Cosmetics has more than 3 million consultants worldwide and wholesale volume in excess of 3 billion. Mary Kay herself was honored as a leading female entrepreneur in American history. Ash was the author of several books, including "Mary Kay", an autobiography in 1994, "Miracles Happen" and You Can Have It All in 1995, her first book called "Mary Kay on People Management" was published in 1984 and the publisher Nightingale Conant produced an audio program written by Ash with the same title as the book.
Ash died on November 22, 2001. Mary Kay Ash is interred in the Sparkman-Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Texas. Stefoff, Rebecca Mary Kay Ash: Mary Kay, a Beautiful Business Garrett Educational Corp. Ada, Okla. ISBN 1-56074-012-4 Rozakis, Laurie Mary Kay: Cosmetics Queen Rourke Enterprises, Vero Beach, Fla. ISBN 0-86592-040-0 Ash, Mary Kay Mary Kay on people management New York, NY, Warner Books, Inc. Ash, Mary Kay Miracles Happen: Mary Kay Ash The Life and Timeless Principles of the Founder of Mary Kay Inc. Harper Collins Publishers, New York,ISBN 0-06-092601-5.
Walter Elias Disney was an American entrepreneur, voice actor and film producer. A pioneer of the American animation industry, he introduced several developments in the production of cartoons; as a film producer, Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honors. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Born in Chicago in 1901, Disney developed an early interest in drawing, he took art classes as a boy and got a job as a commercial illustrator at the age of 18. He moved to California in the early 1920s and set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. With Ub Iwerks, Walt developed the character Mickey Mouse in 1928, his first popular success; as the studio grew, Disney became more adventurous, introducing synchronized sound, full-color three-strip Technicolor, feature-length cartoons and technical developments in cameras.
The results, seen in features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Fantasia and Bambi, furthered the development of animated film. New animated and live-action films followed after World War II, including the critically successful Cinderella and Mary Poppins, the latter of which received five Academy Awards. In the 1950s, Disney expanded into the amusement park industry, in 1955 he opened Disneyland. To fund the project he diversified into television programs, such as Walt Disney's Disneyland and The Mickey Mouse Club. In 1965, he began development of another theme park, Disney World, the heart of, to be a new type of city, the "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow". Disney was a heavy smoker throughout his life, died of lung cancer in December 1966 before either the park or the EPCOT project were completed. Disney was a shy, self-deprecating and insecure man in private but adopted a warm and outgoing public persona, he had high expectations of those with whom he worked. Although there have been accusations that he was racist or anti-Semitic, they have been contradicted by many who knew him.
His reputation changed in the years after his death, from a purveyor of homely patriotic values to a representative of American imperialism. He remains an important figure in the history of animation and in the cultural history of the United States, where he is considered a national cultural icon, his film work continues to be adapted. Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901, in Chicago's Hermosa neighborhood, he was the fourth son of Elias Disney—born in the Province of Canada, to Irish parents—and Flora, an American of German and English descent. Aside from Disney and Flora's sons were Herbert and Roy. In 1906, when Disney was four, the family moved to a farm in Marceline, where his uncle Robert had just purchased land. In Marceline, Disney developed his interest in drawing when he was paid to draw the horse of a retired neighborhood doctor. Elias was a subscriber to the Appeal to Reason newspaper, Disney practiced drawing by copying the front-page cartoons of Ryan Walker. Disney began to develop an ability to work with watercolors and crayons.
He lived near the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway line and became enamored with trains. He and his younger sister Ruth started school at the same time at the Park School in Marceline in late 1909. In 1911, the Disneys moved to Missouri. There, Disney attended the Benton Grammar School, where he met fellow-student Walter Pfeiffer, who came from a family of theatre fans and introduced Disney to the world of vaudeville and motion pictures. Before long, he was spending more time at the Pfeiffers' house than at home. Elias had purchased a newspaper delivery route for Kansas City Times. Disney and his brother Roy woke up at 4:30 every morning to deliver the Times before school and repeated the round for the evening Star after school; the schedule was exhausting, Disney received poor grades after falling asleep in class, but he continued his paper route for more than six years. He attended Saturday courses at the Kansas City Art Institute and took a correspondence course in cartooning. In 1917, Elias bought stock in a Chicago jelly producer, the O-Zell Company, moved back to the city with his family.
Disney enrolled at McKinley High School and became the cartoonist of the school newspaper, drawing patriotic pictures about World War I. In mid-1918, Disney attempted to join the United States Army to fight against the Germans, but he was rejected for being too young. After forging the date of birth on his birth certificate, he joined the Red Cross in September 1918 as an ambulance driver, he was arrived in November, after the armistice. He drew cartoons on the side of his ambulance for decoration and had some of his work published in the army newspaper Stars and Stripes. Disney returned to Kansas City in October 1919, where he worked as an apprentice artist at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio. There, he drew commercial illustrations for advertising, theater programs and ca
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, business magnate, philanthropist. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and is identified as one of the richest people in history, he became a leading philanthropist in the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away about $350 million to charities and universities – 90 percent of his fortune, his 1889 article proclaiming "The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, stimulated a wave of philanthropy. Carnegie was born in Dunfermline and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher, by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars and oil derricks, he accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J. P. Morgan in 1901 for $303,450,000, it became the U. S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next couple of years.
Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, the Peace Palace and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others. Andrew Carnegie was born to Margaret Morrison Carnegie and William Carnegie in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1835, in a typical weaver's cottage with only one main room, consisting of half the ground floor, shared with the neighboring weaver's family; the main room served as a living room, dining bedroom. He was named after his legal grandfather. In 1836, the family moved to a larger house in Edgar Street, following the demand for more heavy damask, from which his father benefited, he was educated at the Free School in Dunfermline, a gift to the town by the philanthropist Adam Rolland of Gask.
Carnegie's uncle, George Lauder, Sr. a Scottish political leader influenced him as a boy by introducing him to the writings of Robert Burns and historical Scottish heroes such as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Rob Roy. Lauder's son named George Lauder, grew up with Carnegie and would become his business partner; when Carnegie was thirteen, his father had fallen on hard times as a handloom weaver. His mother helped support the family by assisting her brother, by selling potted meats at her "sweetie shop", leaving her as the primary breadwinner. Struggling to make ends meet, the Carnegies decided to borrow money from George Lauder, Sr. and move to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in the United States in 1848 for the prospect of a better life. Carnegie's migration to America would be his second journey outside Dunfermline – the first being an outing to Edinburgh to see Queen Victoria. In September 1848, Carnegie arrived with his family at their new prosperous home. Allegheny was populating in the 1840s, growing from around 10,000 to 21,262 residents.
The city was industrial and produced many products including wool and cotton cloth. The "Made in Allegheny" label used on these and other diversified products was becoming more and more popular. For his father, the promising circumstances still did not provide him any good fortune. Dealers were not interested in selling his product, he himself struggled to sell it on his own; the father and son both received job offers at the same Scottish-owned cotton mill, Anchor Cotton Mills. Carnegie's first job in 1848 was as a bobbin boy, changing spools of thread in a cotton mill 12 hours a day, 6 days a week in a Pittsburgh cotton factory, his starting wage was $1.20 per week. His father quit his position at the cotton mill soon after, returning to his loom and removing him as breadwinner once again, but Carnegie attracted the attention of John Hay, a Scottish manufacturer of bobbins, who offered him a job for $2.00 per week. In his autobiography, Carnegie speaks of his past hardships. Soon after this Mr. John Hay, a fellow Scotch manufacturer of bobbins in Allegheny City, needed a boy, asked whether I would not go into his service.
I went, received two dollars per week. I had to fire the boiler in the cellar of the bobbin factory, it was too much for me. I found myself night after night, sitting up in bed trying the steam gauges, fearing at one time that the steam was too low and that the workers above would complain that they had not power enough, at another time that the steam was too high and that the boiler might burst. In 1849, Carnegie became a telegraph messenger boy in the Pittsburgh Office of the Ohio Telegraph Company, at $2.50 per week following the recommendation of his uncle. He was a hard worker and would memorize all of the locations of Pittsburgh's businesses and the faces of important men, he made many connections this way. He paid close attention to his work, learned to distinguish the differing sounds the incoming telegraph signals produced, he developed the ability to translate signals by ear, withou
Charles E. Merrill
Charles Edward Merrill was an American philanthropist, co-founder, with Edmund C. Lynch, of Merrill Lynch & Company. Charles E. Merrill, the son of physician Dr. Charles Merrill and Octavia Merrill, was born in Green Cove Springs, where he spent his early childhood. In 1898 the family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee but within the year returned to Florida to settle in Jacksonville. After the school had been damaged in the Great Fire of 1901, his parents decided to send him to the college preparatory academy operated by John B. Stetson University. Merrill studied there from 1901 until 1903 and in 1903 for the final year of high school was transferred to Worcester Academy. After two years at Amherst College, Merrill spent time at the University of Michigan Law School from 1906 to 1907. New York City, from 1909 to 1913. Merrill and his friend, Edmund C. Lynch, created Merrill Lynch in 1915. Merrill made his money by investing, he orchestrated the 1926 merger which created the Safeway food chain, Merrill Lynch provided investment banking services to Safeway to finance the acquisition of other chains, growing Safeway to more than 3,500 stores across the United States by 1931.
Merrill anticipated the stock market crash of 1929, divested many of his holdings before the Great Depression. Merrill merged his retail brokerage and wire operations with E. A. Pierce and Co. thereby restructuring Merrill Lynch and Co. to focus upon investment banking. Additionally, Merrill was known to have pleaded with President Calvin Coolidge to speak out against speculation, but Coolidge did not listen to him. Following the 1930 restructuring, Merrill was able to spend more time focusing upon the further growth of Safeway, where he remained the largest shareholder and de facto CFO. Merrill was a major investor in the S. S. Kresge Corporation, the forerunner of Kmart. In 1939 preceding the boom caused by World War II, Merrill was approached by Edward A. Pierce to merge the struggling brokerage E. A. Pierce & Co. back together with Merrill Lynch. Merrill insisted that the combined firm retain the Lynch name. Following a simultaneous acquisition of Philadelphia-based Cassatt & Co. the firm was reopened as Merrill Lynch, E. A. Pierce and Cassatt.
Merrill was convinced that the average American who wanted to invest should be able to buy shares in the stock market, a playground for the wealthy. He instructed his employees to hold seminars at which husbands and wives could leave their children with child care providers while the parents learned how they, could invest. Requiring husbands and wives to attend investment seminars together is a common marketing strategy to keep up sales pressure, as neither spouse will be able to say, "let me check with my wife before I decide." Merrill was a well-known bon vivant. Married three times, Merrill was nicknamed "Good Time Charlie" by his friends and was described in 1998 by Time magazine as a "short, self-absorbed, flamboyant fellow" who "made the gossip pages as as the financial pages". Merrill was known for his many extramarital affairs, which he referred to as "recharging my batteries". In 1926, he purchased the James L. Breese House at Southampton in Suffolk County, New York, a 30-acre estate known as "The Orchard".
Designed in part by Stanford White with original landscaping by Frederick Law Olmsted, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 after being divided into 29 luxury condominiums. In the 1920s, Merrill owned a Greenwich Village townhouse at 18 West 11th Street, exploded by dynamite on March 6, 1970 by careless Weather Underground terrorists. All three of Merrill's children were wealthy from unbreakable trusts made early in childhood. Merrill was the father of educator and philanthropist Charles E. Merrill Jr. author and founder of the Thomas Jefferson School, Commonwealth School, former chairman of the board of trustees of Morehouse College. In the early 1950s, Merrill's three children renounced any further inheritance from their father's estate in exchange for $100 "as full quittance". Merrill's grandson, Peter Magowan, was President and CEO of Safeway Inc. and the former managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants. Merrill's estate funded the Charles E. Merrill Trust, an engine of philanthropy, supporting the Merrill Science Center at Amherst College and Merrill College at the University of California, Santa Cruz, built in 1968.
Merrill was inducted into the Junior Achievement U. S. Business Hall of Fame in 1976. Merrill played no role in Judge John M. Woolsey's decision admitting Ulysses into the United States, as many have assumed; the Charles Merrill who assisted Woolsey was Charles Edmund Merrill, Jr. president of the New York textbook publishing house, Charles E. Merrill Company. See Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses. Merrill Lynch: The Early Years
Cyrus Hall McCormick was an American inventor and businessman who founded the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company, which became part of the International Harvester Company in 1902. From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, he and many members of his family became prominent residents of Chicago. McCormick has been simplistically credited as the single inventor of the mechanical reaper, he was, one of several designing engineers who produced successful models in the 1830s. His efforts built on more than two decades of work by his father Robert McCormick Jr. as well as the aid of Jo Anderson, a slave held by his family. He successfully developed a modern company, with manufacturing, a sales force to market his products. Cyrus McCormick was born on February 1809 in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, he was the eldest of eight children born to Mary Ann "Polly" Hall. As Cyrus' father saw the potential of the design for a mechanical reaper, he applied for a patent to claim it as his own invention, he worked for 28 years on a horse-drawn mechanical reaper to harvest grain.
Cyrus took up the project. He was aided by an enslaved African American on the McCormick plantation at the time. A few machines based on a design of Patrick Bell of Scotland were available in the United States in these years; the Bell machine was pushed by horses. The McCormick design cut the grain to one side of the team. Cyrus McCormick held one of his first demonstrations of mechanical reaping at the nearby village of Steeles Tavern, Virginia in 1831, he claimed to have developed a final version of the reaper in 18 months. The young McCormick was granted a patent on the reaper on June 21, 1834, two years after having been granted a patent for a self-sharpening plow. None was sold, because the machine could not handle varying conditions; the McCormick family worked together in a blacksmith/metal smelting business. The panic of 1837 caused the family to go into bankruptcy when a partner pulled out. In 1839 McCormick started doing more public demonstrations of the reaper, but local farmers still thought the machine was unreliable.
He did sell one in 1840, but none for 1841. Using the endorsement of his father's first customer for a machine built by McPhetrich, Cyrus continuously attempted to improve the design, he sold seven reapers in 1842, 29 in 1843, 50 in 1844. They were all built manually in the family farm shop, he received a second patent for reaper improvements on January 31, 1845. As word spread about the reaper, McCormick noticed orders arriving from farther west, where farms tended to be larger and the land flatter. While he was in Washington, D. C. to get his 1845 patent, he heard about a factory in Brockport, New York, where he contracted to have the machines mass-produced. He licensed several others across the country to build the reaper, but their quality proved poor, which hurt the product's reputation. In 1847, after their father's death and his brother Leander moved to Chicago, where they established a factory to build their machines. At the time, other cities in the midwestern United States, such as Cleveland, Ohio, St. Louis and Milwaukee, were more established and prosperous.
Chicago had no paved streets at the time, but the city had the best water transportation from the east over the Great Lakes for his raw materials, as well as railroad connections to the farther west where his customers would be. When McCormick tried to renew his patent in 1848, the U. S. Patent Office noted that a similar machine had been patented by Obed Hussey a few months earlier. McCormick claimed he had invented his machine in 1831, but the renewal was denied. William Manning of Plainfield, New Jersey had received a patent for his reaper in May 1831, but at the time, Manning was evidently not defending his patent. McCormick's brother William moved to Chicago in 1849, joined the company to take care of financial affairs; the McCormick reaper sold well as a result of savvy and innovative business practices. Their products came onto the market just as the development of railroads offered wide distribution to distant markets. McCormick developed marketing and sales techniques, developing a wide network of salesmen trained to demonstrate operation of the machines in the field, as well as to get parts and repair machines in the field if necessary during crucial times in the farm year.
A company advertisement was a take-off of the Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way mural by Emanuel Leutze. After his machine harvested a field of green wheat while the Hussey machine failed, he won a gold medal and was admitted to the Legion of Honor, his celebration was short-lived after he learned that he had lost a court challenge to Hussey's patent. Another McCormick Company competitor was John Henry Manny of Illinois. After the Manny Reaper beat the McCormick version at the Paris Exposition of 1855, McCormick filed a lawsuit against Manny for patent infringement. McCormick demanded that Manny stop producing reapers, pay McCormick $400,000; the trial scheduled for Chicago in September 1855, featured prominent lawyers on both sides. McCormick hired the former U. S. Attorney General Reverdy Johnson and New York patent attorney Edward Nicholl Dickerson. Manny hired Edwin M. Stanton; because the trial was set to take place in Illinois, Ha
John Deere (inventor)
John Deere was an American blacksmith and manufacturer who founded Deere & Company, one of the largest and leading agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers in the world. Born in Rutland, Deere moved to Illinois and invented the first commercially successful steel plow in 1837. John Deere was born on February 1804, in Rutland, Vermont. After a brief educational period at Middlebury College, at age 17 in 1821 he began an apprenticeship with Captain Benjamin Lawrence, a successful Middlebury blacksmith, entered the trade for himself in 1826, he fathered nine children. Deere worked in Burlington before opening his own shops, first in Vergennes, in Leicester. John Deere settled in Illinois. At the time, Deere had no difficulty finding work due to a lack of blacksmiths working in the area. Deere found that cast-iron plows were not working well in the tough prairie soil of Illinois and remembered the needles he had polished by running them through sand as he grew up in his father's tailor shop in Rutland, Vermont.
Deere came to the conclusion that a plow made out of polished steel and a shaped moldboard would be better able to handle the soil conditions of the prairie its sticky clay. There are varying versions of the inspiration for Deere's famous steel plow. In one version, he recalled the way the polished steel pitchfork tines moved through hay and soil and thought that same effect could be obtained for a plow. In 1837, Deere manufactured the first commercially successful cast-steel plow; the wrought-iron framed plow had a polished steel share. This worked better than other plows. By early 1838, Deere completed his first steel plow and sold it to a local farmer, Lewis Crandall, who spread word of his success with Deere's plow. Subsequently, two neighbors soon placed orders with Deere. By 1841, Deere was manufacturing 75–100 plows per year. In 1843, Deere partnered with Leonard Andrus to produce more plows to keep up with demand. However, the partnership became strained due to the two men's stubbornness – while Deere wished to sell to customers outside Grand Detour, Andrus opposed a proposed railroad through Grand Detour – and Deere's distrust of Andrus' accounting practices.
In 1848, Deere dissolved the partnership with Andrus and moved to Moline, because the city was a transportation hub on the Mississippi River. By 1855, Deere's factory sold more than 10,000 such plows, it became known as "The Plow that Broke the Plains" and is commemorated as such in a historic place marker in Vermont. Deere insisted on making high-quality equipment, he once said, "I will never put my name on a product that does not have in it the best, in me." Following the Panic of 1857, as business improved, Deere left the day-to-day operations to his son Charles. In 1868, Deere incorporated his business as Company. In life, Deere focused most of his attention on civil and political affairs, he served as President of the National Bank of Moline, a director of the Moline Free Public Library, was a trustee of the First Congregational Church. Deere served as Moline's mayor for two years but due to chest pains and dysentery Deere refused to run for a second term, he died at home on May 17, 1886. Wayne G. Broehl, Jr. John Deere's Company Neil Dahlstrom and Jeremy Dahlstrom.
The John Deere Story: A Biography of Plowmakers John and Charles Deere. 204pp. Leslie J. Stegh. "Deere, John".