John Blue of Scotland County, Inventor of Agricultural Tools

CDS-JOHN BLUE COMPANYOn November 28, 1861, inventor John Blue was born in what is now Scotland County.

Raised on a cotton farm, Blue had an interest from a young age in inventing tools to make life easier. Before he left the family farm to start a life of his own, he often tinkered in his father’s blacksmith shop.  Despite the crude tools available to him there, he was able to invent the first cotton-stalk cutter.

Blue struck out on his own in 1883 and continued to invent agricultural tools on the side, including an iron cotton planter and a fertilizer spreader. After a few years, he founded a business on his farm with his father. The business grew steadily into a factory that made a variety of agricultural tools in addition to repairing them. The factory eventually got so large that Blue added a foundry to supply his own iron.

Over the course of his career, Blue continued to invent new products and secure patents for them. His son, John Jr., took over the business after his death and, though it shifted its operations to Alabama after a major fire, the company continues to operate to this day as CDS-John Blue.

Visit: The John Blue House and Heritage Center in Laurinburg tells the story of Blue and the region.

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