As you enter the Heidrick Ag History Center the first piece you will see is the John Deere Waterloo Boy. Why is this piece so significant? Built in 1922 this two cylinder horizontal engine starts on gasoline and then runs on kerosene. The Waterloo Boy tractor was manufactured by the Waterloo Gas Engine Company until 1918, when the company was bought by the John Deere Company. The year 1918 also happened to be the height of tractor production when more tractors were manufactured than any other year in the 20th Century. The purchase of the Waterloo Gas Engine Company marked a monumental shift for John Deere, who started as a blacksmith and an inventor. The purchase of the Waterloo Gas Engine Company was a jumping off point for large scale tractor production.