Inventors and Patents From the City of Moline

Moline is a city in Rock Island County, Illinois. It is part of the Quad Cities, a metropolitan area that includes East Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport. It has an estimated population of 381,342, making it the ninth-most populous city outside of the Chicago metropolitan area.

Moline’s downtown is now called the Moline Centre, and is a historic area bordered by 6th Avenue and the Mississippi River. The downtown is home to the City Hall, the original Carnegie-sponsored public library, and many other civic institutions.

Inventors and Inventions

Moline has a rich history of innovation, invention, and invention-based businesses. Perhaps the most notable inevntor in Moline was John Deere, who invented and developed the first commercially successful, self-scouring steel plow.

In 1848, Deere, moved his company to Moline which is on the east bank of the Mississippi River. The river provided water power for running a factory, as well as riverboats for bringing in raw materials and moving plows to market. Additionally, the city’s proximity to Davenport and Stephenson in Iowa made it an ideal location to expand his operations.  In 1868, Deere’s business was incorporated under the Deere & Company name and in 1873 he became the second mayor of Moline.

Image Credit: Unsplash

Additionally, the city of Moline has received more than three dozen patents. Among them is a U.S. Patent for an electronic engine speed control system for grass mowing machines which was awarded to John Deere. In the 1930s, Moline was dependent on farm machinery from Deere & Company, which eventually became the largest agricultural machinery company in the world.

Another famous inventor to have come from Moline is El Dorado Jones. She was American inventor nicknamed the “Iron Woman” and who is credited with inventing a light-weight electric iron, travel size iron board, a collapsible hat-rack, an “anti-damp salt shaker” and an airplane muffler which is her most famous invention. She established her factory in Moline to develop her products and in which primarily hired women over the age of 40 as her employees.

The airplane muffler was described by the Modern Mechanics and Inventions Magazine as “a series of small pinwheels which ‘chew up’ the sound waves and retard the passage of exhaust gases without crating undue back pressure upon the engine.” The magazine further touted the invention as the first successful exhaust engine for airplanes. The invention is registered as US Patent No. 1473235.

Time magazine described the muffler in action:

“Puffing upon one cigaret after another, Miss Jones directed mechanics in attaching to the Cirrus engine of a Moth biplane a muffler of her own invention. As the plane sped along the runway and over the hangars there were noises—of thrumming propeller, snapping pistons, vibrating metal—but there was no bark of exhaust”.

Image Credit: Pinterest

Moline is also home to the American Headquarters of Kone Elevator, which opened in August 2012 and employs 250 people from the Quad Cities and surrounding area. The KONE US Operations Center in Moline is designed to be energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, and incorporates passive and active strategies, including an array of 1365 distributed solar panels. It is the third-largest solar panel array in Illinois.

Image Credit: Unsplash


In the early nineteenth century, the city was a hub for the Underground Railroad. The area was home to several abolitionists, and several homes were designated official safe havens.

In more recent years, Moline has become home to several large companies and universities. For example, Deere & Co. of Moline, Illinois, has been awarded several patents including U.S. Patent No. US5520125A . This patent is for a combination cultivator and chemical applicator. It is designed to help seal chemical in the ground in certain soil conditions to prevent chemical

Moreover in 2016, the City of Moline reported that a patent application filed by Deere & Company was approved on April 5, 2016, a year after it was filed. In fact, the City of Moline reported that 28 patents were granted during that same month.

Barrier For Female Patent Inventor
What Is An Enabling Patent Invention Disclosure
How To Overcome Patent Barriers For Women Inventors
Startup And New Business Guide For Atlanta Inventors With Patentable Inventions
Inventors and Patents From the City of Murfreesboro