1918 Waterloo Boy at National FFA Convention
This perfectly restored 1918 Waterloo Boy was on display at the 91st National FFA Convention in Indianapolis. Thinking about today's tractors this is not much of a tractor. However, you have to put yourself in the place of a farmer in 1918. In that day this was an incredible machine. Remember, it was replacing horses. No rest breaks were needed, all you had to feed it was fuel.
Many people do not know that John Deere began as a plow company. They were known for high quality plows that pulled easily through the soil. In 1918 John Deere had been developing concepts for a tractor for a few years. In 1915 there were only 25,000 tractors sold in the United States. In 1918 only 3 years later 130,000 tractors were sold.
John Deere Vice President Willard Velie told the board of directors " I cannot refrain from remarking that we should build tractors largely and wholeheartedly, or dismiss the tractor matter as inconsequential and immaterial. I desire to go on record as believing firmly the future of Deere& Company , imperatively and insistently requires immediate action."
The immediate action was Deere & Company purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company in March of 2018 which designed and built the Waterloo Boy. Deere and Company joined about 150 other companies in the United States manufacturing tractors.
This display was just across the hall from the Media Booth at the Indianapolis Convention Center. When we were waiting for FFA members to stop by it was fun go over and read about the history of John Deere! .