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John Deere tractor John Deere archives
INSIDE STORY: Learn why John Deere waited so long to produce the 4010 and other New Generation tractors in a new book, “The John Deere Century.”

Book details development of John Deere tractors

“The John Deere Century” puts you in the shoes of the company’s engineers throughout time.

Even if you’ve never been to a tractor factory or toured facilities where engineers design, build and test tractors, you will feel like you have after reading a new book about John Deere. You get an inside look at how engineers and equipment company leaders think in Randy Leffingwell’s “The John Deere Century.”

Available just in time for Deere’s 100th anniversary of introducing the Waterloo Boy tractor, this book takes you back in time. John Deere wasn’t the premier equipment company in 1918, but company leaders knew they needed tractors to get there. Leffingwell picks up the thread of the story and continues it through development of John Deere’s New Generation of tractors and beyond.

Many books have featured fabulous pictures of both beautifully restored tractors and older equipment working in the field in its day. You’ll find those types of photos in this book, too. But you’ll also find copies of the actual notes of engineers as they developed various models, from the John Deere D to the 4010 and more.

Learn about models that never made it to the market, even though some of the ideas developed in testing those prototypes did. You’ve probably never heard of Deere models 61 or 101, because they didn’t reach the farm. But inside this book’s pages, you can learn why they were important.

You may also not know that Henry Dreyfuss, a well-known designer within several different industries, helped give John Deere tractors their stylish looks, starting with the styled Model B in the 1930s all the way through the New Generation in the 1960s. Learn the true story behind how Dreyfuss became involved in agriculture, and how he and his staff changed the look of tractors forever.

You can order the large, hard-bound, 176-page book for $40 online. It’s published by Motorbooks. Visit and search for “The John Deere Century.”

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