Deering, William

Deering, William
b. 1826 USA
d. 1913 USA
American entrepreneur who invested in the developing agricultural machinery manufacturing industry and became one of the founders of the International Harvester Company.
Deering began work in his father's woollen mill and, with this business experience, developed Deering, Milliken \& Co., a wholesale dry goods business. Deering invested $40,000 in the Marsh reaper business in 1870, and became a partner in 1872. In 1880 he gained full control of the company and took up residence in Chicago, where he set up a factory. In 1878 he saw the Appleby binders, and in November of that year he negotiated a licence agreement for their manufacture. Deering was aware that with only two twine manufacturers operating in the US, the high price of twine was discouraging sales of binders. He therefore entered into an agreement with Edwin H.Fitler of Philadelphia for the production of very large quantities of twine, and in so doing dramatically reduced its price. In 1880 Deering released onto the market 3,000 binders and ten cartloads of twine that he had manufactured secretly. By 1890 McCormick and Deering were market leaders; Deering anticipated McCormick in a number of technical areas and also diversified his business into ore, timber, and a rolling and casting mill. After several false starts, a merger between the two companies took place on 12 August 1902 to form the International Harvester Company, with Deering as chairman of the voting trust which was established to control it. The company expanded into Canada in 1903 and into Europe in 1905. It began its first experiments with tractors in that same year and produced the first production models in 1906. The company went into truck production in 1907.
Further Reading
C.H.Wendell, 1981, 150 Years of International Harvester, Crestlink Publishing (though more concerned with the machinery produced by International Harvester, this gives an account of its originating companies, and the personalities behind them).
H.N.Casson, 1908, The Romance of the Reaper, Doubleday Page (deals with McCormick, Deering and the formation of International Harvester).

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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