Early History of John Deere Corn Shellers

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Photo By Ted “Dutch” deHaan
John Deere Sheller No. 2

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.

The
No. 2A echoed its counterpart, the No. 1A. The newer model had the added
ability to shell a complete additional path. Also manufactured in Moline, the 2A had a
relatively short production run, from 1930 through 1936. The internal pieces
were mostly made of cast iron and a “back-to-back” arrangement allowed two ears
to be shelled simultaneously. The 2A was offered with a “sacking elevator” and
other options. FC

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