Fun Facts: John Deere E Trivia

Five ledgers hold the history of the John Deere E engine line as Jim White informs us.

Reader Contribution by Jim White
article image
courtesy John Deere archives

The John Deere Model E serial number list is contained in five “ledger” books. Starting from the left is engines from August 1929 to May 1941. Second, December 1934 to November 1835. Third, October 1920 to March 1926. (This ledger is 5 inches thick). Fourth is December 1941 to May 1946. Fifth, April 1928 to August 1929.

The history of JD Model E engines is contained in five books starting with the Waterloo H. First entry being serial number 160001, 2hp. Mag number 324854, type 70, Wizard. Also indicated is “new governor,” Winfer mixer, no sub base, copper fuel line, tank with Hartman straps to skids. Shipped 12-31-1920 to JDO Co., St. Louis. After listing several type H engines the list goes to Waterloo type K with the first entry being serial number 213565, 2hp, Waterloo mag number 321339, type 70, maker Wizard, shipped 10-1-1920 to Otto Olson, Valders, Wisconsin. And finally the type E with serial number 300001, with no shipping date, city or destination.

In serial numbers 300001 to 300007 no information is recorded, so maybe they were retained by John Deere at Waterloo. By serial number 300007, 1-1/2hp, mag number R 1003 (Iowa Dairy) was shipped May 16, 1922, to Construction Machine Co. Following this, serial number engines were listed sequentially with the basic information as follows: Six columns across the top of ledger with the first being engine number, followed by HP, magneto number, equipment (special features and changes in construction), date shipped and shipped to. Under equipment, there are very few entries.

Also interesting in these early E engines are mags listed as Iowa Dairy, JR30, Splitdorf, Wizard and Webster with all the later engines being Iowa Dairy mags.

Some engines were listed at consignment, an example being engine number 250792, 1-1/2 E, Dec. 23, 1925, to Newbouer Bros., Hartford City, Indiana.

Jim White

A special thanks to Julius Arrington of the John Deere archives for his support and assistance. Jim White is a retired science department chairman, and may be reached at 7821 Dewberry Lane, Cedar Hill, MO 63016, or via email at

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