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Lawn Mowing History


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Lawn MowersLawn Mowing Guide • Lawn Mowing History

antique tractor-pulled mower Is there anything that makes a yard look better than green, groomed grass?  Many homeowners spend lots of time perfecting their lawn.  While there are a number of products on the market designed to help you grow a lovely lawn, mowing the lawn is key to its success.

It hasn't always been that way.  As a matter of fact, until the 19th century, most yards comprised a mixture of flowers, vegetables, grass and weeds.  It wasn't until golf and bowling became popular that wide swaths of grass were introduced to the yard.

vintage reel lawn mower The earliest lawn mowers were sheep, who kept the estate in trim shape without the use of much manual labor.  For those who didn't have sheep or didn't relish their upkeep, the scythe was the first man-made apparatus designed to cut grass.  But the scythe had its drawbacks.  First of all, using the scythe was tiring, especially if you had a large lawn.  Second of all, to prevent the scythe from completely flattening the yard, the grass had to be wet before scything.

In 1830, a man named Edwin Budding used the principles of a machine that cut the nap off cloth to develop the first lawn mowing machine.  This machine is what we call today a reel or cylinder mower, which means it featured one fixed blade and a series of other blades arranged in a cylinder around a central shaft.  Pushing the mower causes the cylinder to turn and cut the blades of grass that are caught between the fixed and rotating blades.  By 1841, lawn mowers were horse-drawn, and by the late 19th century they were run on power.

The first power lawn tractor was driven by steam, and weighed close to two tons.  By 1902, lighter gas-driven rotary blade mowers replaced the reel mower.  Today, lawn mowers and tractors come in all sizes, depending upon the homeowner's needs, and can be pushed or driven.  A robotic lawn mower, which mows the lawn without human help, has also been introduced recently!

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History of Lawn Mowing and Lawn Mowing Machines