Early History of John Deere Corn Shellers

John Deere corn shellers show design advancements


| November 2013



John Deere Sheller 2

John Deere Sheller No. 2

Photo By Ted “Dutch” deHaan

The first three John Deere shellers are commonly referred to as “one-hole” shellers; all were manufactured in Moline, Ill. All were manually operated initially; later, (optional) external belt-drive pulleys were offered.

The No. 1 John Deere sheller was manufactured from 1915 through 1924. It consisted of an angle iron frame for its lower level and a segmented cast iron top body in three major pieces. Internal pieces were mostly made of cast iron. Upper and lower side panels, as well as the internal baffles, were made of wood.

The No. 1A, Deere’s second one-hole sheller, was manufactured from 1924 through 1936. The No. 1A utilized an extended angle iron frame to include the upper portion of the sheller as well, replacing the cast iron portions of the No. 1. The internal pieces remained almost unchanged.

No. 1B was manufactured from 1936 through 1949 and perhaps into the early 1950s. Strangely, this model seems to relate back to the No. 1. Gone was the upper portion of sheet metal and angle frame. The entire top portion was redesigned to be integrated into two casting halves. Several attachments were offered, including feed trays, power pulleys, corn nubbers and an electric motor power option.

John Deere two-hole shellers

The No. 2 was Deere’s first two-hole sheller. Its design was very close to that of the No. 1 with the added ability to shell a complete additional path. Built in Moline, the No. 2 was manufactured from 1915 through 1931. A larger machine, it had an angle iron frame for its lower level and a segmented cast iron top body in three major pieces. The internals were primarily made of larger cast iron pieces and a “back-to-back” arrangement for shelling two ear paths simultaneously. Upper and lower side panels, as well as the internal baffles, were made of wood.

The big news was the availability of a sacking elevator that collected and elevated shelled corn for packaging into sacks. Large feed tables were available as well as power pulleys for external belt drive connections.