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In the 17th and 18th centuries, practical man had made many improvements in the plow. Leading among these was English inventor Robert Ransome, who patented a cast iron share in 1785 and a self-sharpening share in 1803. Later, he developed a double plow.
Cast iron and iron-patched plows didn't work real well in the high organic matter soils of the American Plains. So in the 1830s, John Deere of Illinois, made a new kind of plow made of all steel except the braces, beans and handles. Improved plowing in prairie sod and decreased the animal power needed.
Roman plows were wooden with iron shares and later with a coulter (cutter).These had no moldboard to turn the soil over but was sometimes fitted with 2 small ears to make a more distinct rut. Egyptians used wooden plows drawn by oxen and asses. The first Chinese iron plow appeared between 475-221 B.C. The first cattle drawn plow in China appeared in the 1st century B.C., followed by a 3-shared plow and harrow.
A mole plow (has a cartridge-shaped mole on bottom of blade) is used for plowing a drain in wetlands and was made and first used in the late 1700s. The first steam-powered plow was developed in the 1830s. And the first successful steam plow in the 1860s.
The mold board was added in the 18th century (turns the furrow cut by the share). In the mid-1800s, John Deere's plow was followed by a 3-wheel sulky plow and > tractor-drawn plow. The moldboard plow consists of:
Tractor drawn plows have 1 to 5 shares. Two way or reversible plows can be opposed or aligned to fill the furrows or throw all soil to the left or right. Rotary plows use cutting knives on a rotating shaft. Subsoilers and chisel plows plow up to 3 ft using steel-pointed shanks and shanks with double pointed shovels.