Feb. 7: Observing John Deere’s 212th Birthday

To celebrate John Deere's 212th birthday, we offer two cake recipes found in his personal account books.

February 7 marks the 212th anniversary of John Deere’s birth, and you’re invited to celebrate! Born in Rutland, Vt., Deere moved west in 1836, seeking a better life in Grand Detour, Ill. One year later, he perfected the first commercially successful self-scouring steel plow. John Deere died on May 17, 1886, in Moline, Ill., at the age of 82. Thousands of mourners paid their respects at Red Cliff, his home in Moline.

It would appear that John Deere had a sweet tooth. In one of his account books, dated 1848-1855, our archives team found a collection of hand-written recipes, including a lemon cake and a coconut cake. The original recipes, which called for items such as “4 flours,” have been converted into modern measurements.

Celebrate John Deere’s birthday by trying these recipes, or baking one of your own, during the week of Feb. 7-12. Share pictures of your results on We hope to show you some of these results very soon right here on the John Deere Journal. Be sure to tell us which one is your favorite.



Feb. 7: Observing John Deere’s 212th Birthday


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