There have been a number of varieties of lawn mowers that you can select for your lawn to mow it up. The range starting from bigger riding lawn mowers to smaller remote controlled or push behind lawn mower, can be pretty overwhelming. But how did such innovation appear to one’s head can be pretty interesting to know?
While you will find a lot of options to get your lawn a mower, there was a time when the power of the mower was nothing but just being able to cut the grass with hand by a long wooded handlebar with a blade. And that was indeed pretty a boring and tedious job to do so. But people still tried and used it back in the 1830.
The developments of the mowing technology have certainly helped us mow with lesser effort in lesser time. But the change did not happen in a snap. So, to enlighten you about the history of lawn mowers, here I have put some light on the previous years that saw the birth of mowing design and innovations.
What is Lawn Mower?
A lawn mower is basically a machine that uses one or more blades which spin to cut the surface of grass to a height evenly. This height of the trimmed grass is able to be set by the pattern of the lawnmowers. However, it usually can be adjusted by the user generally by a nut and bolt or a lever on every wheel of the mowing tool. The blades can be powered by muscles or with electricity or with batteries to push the mower forward.
Here Comes the History of Lawn Mowers
The first implement ever utilized to slash the grass to a pleasanter length was the scythe. This tool comprises of a simple design featuring a long wooden handlebar with a curved blade mounted to the and perpendicularly. The scythe happened to be the only choice for scything the grass until the 19th century. And this proved to be the longest and the most monotonous process back then.
The first genuine lawn mower was actually invented by Edwin Beard Budding in 1830. He was an English engineer who dug up the notion of a lawnmower first from a cylinder-shaped mechanism used for cutting in a local cloth mill. The lawnmower he built was made up of a large roller that supplied power to the mowing cylinder with the use of gears.
The mowing cylinder featured several blades attached in sequence around it. And this innovation of Budding opened the door for several developments in lawn mowing.
Advancement Through the Years
After the invention of first lawnmower, Budding went for collaboration with John Ferrabee, a fellow English engineer. They both began to build and manufacture cylinder-shaped lawnmowers in a factory at Stroud. The earlier mowers that used to be put on show at the Stroud museum were composed of cast iron and they had a large roller that accommodated the mowing cylinder or reel at the front. And as it has been mentioned above, with the use of such gear wheels, they used to supply power to the cylinders.
In 1830, both of them achieved a patent that led them to be capable of manufacturing and selling the products. He also licensed other manufacturers along with the production of his own products that allowed them to build the mowers as well. When the patent got terminated in the 1850s, other manufacturers also began to produce their own lawnmowers.
In 1859, Thomas Green introduced the first innovation of such mowers with the first chain-driven lawnmower. He named the machine ‘SilensMessor’ that meant silent cutter. As he used chains for transmitting power from the rear rollers than mechanisms to mowing cylinder, it helped the lawnmower work in a quieter manner.
Now, it was a big deal since a chain drive referred to a much lighter mower lessening the amount of task it could take to trim your lawn. Although the production of such lawnmowers ended in 1935. During the same time, some other manufacturers also began to rise for instance Alexander Shanks who designed a series of Caledonia lawnmowers.
In 1868, Amariah Hills appeared to be the first American who obtained a patent for a reel lawnmower design with their Connecticut company. During that period, horse-drawn lawnmowers got the most popularity, although it caused a risk for the horse tearing up the grasses.
In 1870, Elwood McGuire came up with a simpler design of a push lawnmower that weighed quite lighter with lesser mechanical movements. This design let the user push the lawnmower easily unlike the others that needed a lot of energy to be exerted just like the older push lawnmower designs required.
Albeit being a very lighter push lawnmower, it turned out that mowing the grass with such design happened to be a very lengthy and inconvenient task. Thus, a non-man powered lawnmower was sought after that will do the job without the need of anyone toiling on it.
Getting back to horse-drawn lawnmowers could not be an ideal option as well for having a pristine lawn. So, from that point, motorized lawnmowers started to surface that proved to be the next big innovation of the mowing machine.
In the 1890s, steam-powered engines started to be used commonly, but the time they took to set it off turned out to be even more of a problem that ignited a desire for such engine that will use a different source of energy.
In 1902, the first internal combustion gasoline-powered engine was introduced by Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies Limited. There were other curious minds as well that started working all the way to place more powers behind the lawnmowers while reducing the efforts needed for mowing. And one such mind was Colonel Edwin George.
In 1919, only because of him, the United States was finally capable of manufacturing gasoline powered lawnmowers. Albeit this engine powered lawnmowers were accessible, but unfortunately, they were used rarely in household for the economic circumstances due to World War II. However, after the end of the warm, the power lawnmowers began to show up more in the neighborhoods across the United States.
In 1921, Knud and Oscar Jacobsen introduced a lawnmower with a purpose-built gas engine. This reel-mower used to cut an entire area of grass of 4 acres in just a day. Such mowers had been geared to commercial use for instance in golf courses and cemeteries.
In 1929, the electrically powered lawnmowers with rotary cutting were built up by William Beazley. The blades used to be driven horizontal to the grass so that they can create a very close cut. However, such lawnmowers yet failed to get popularity until considerably later.
In 1938, Toro launched a power lawnmower for the homeowners that were reasonably priced and fitted in a garage.
All the way through 1940s, the only innovations that were evolving were the lighter and smaller designed lawnmowers having a powerful engine.
In 1948, the technology of mowing reached a significant point in history when Max Swisher invented the first zero-turn lawnmower that was commercially available in Warrensburg, Missouri. It could not only make people ride the ‘Ride King’, but made mowing a more effective and productive task.
With zero-turn technology, the wheel could be adjusted 180-degree to opposite course that eliminates the effort of traversing around hindrances or starting new lines. Such design motivated other manufacturers until Hesston came up with a design on the basis of principals found in the mowers of Swisher company that allowed them to be the first manufacturer to provide zero-turn lawnmowers.
In due course, Hesston turned into Excel Industries, where their zero-turn mowers were called ‘the Hustlers’ which were manufacturedfromHustler Turf, one of their parent companies.
In 1953, the lightweight aluminum engine for lawnmowers was created by Briggs & Stratton manufacture. The company shipped 80% of the engines across the United States by 1957.
In the 1960s, such designs started to get manufactured in plastic materials that helped in reducing weight and cost in the long run.
New safety standards had been implemented with the progression of innovative technologies. In 1982, lawnmower safety standards had been designed and created so that it can guarantee the regularity and safety of future machines for people, both commercially and residentially.
At this point, the lawnmowers started to be more available and easier to use. They provided people a wonder that helped them cut the lawn in quicker ways in a breeze. And what could be an easier way to mow than robotic mowers? Exactly. By the year 2000, two companies debuted robotic lawnmowers. It is a design that was adopted and upgraded later through the manufacturers such as Spider. Spider is a company that created a remote-controlled lawnmower called ‘Spider Mower’.
The fastest speed was set for the world record on a lawnmower with 87.83 mph.in May 23 in Pendine, United Kingdom.
An innovative cordless electrical powered lawnmower has been released by Black & Decker with fast charge and extra batteries. This lawnmower feature enough energy for epic yard maintenance. Mowers like Automower 305 of Husqvarna have the ability to return to a dock so that it can charge itself up and get ready for the next mowing session.
Some of the More Advancements
The more technology is improving, the more the possibilities of innovation are increasing. Such innovation has been observed through the transformation of silverware to quantum computer. Albeit, the final designs could not be that much perfect but they were able to solve more problems than they created. And people are even taking bigger steps so that they can perfect it from such design.
However, ‘Image Maker’ owner Stephen Hill has discussed regarding the innovations of lawn mower. And through the discussion, it can be guessed that the next design that can come up with the mowing machine is the bigger bladed ride along with lawnmower that can lift and turn the whole 90-degree deck to go through a variety of gaps and gates in front of the larger lawn.
Such new innovations can decrease the time to slash the turf immensely as some lawns own smaller gates in front. Moreover, without a rotary deck, the biggest blade you are able to utilize is the size of the opening at the gates.
Although, it also comes with a drawback which is, it is going to take a lot more designing and also your money as well since it will be pretty costly. And as for the alterations that can be applied to the design, there can be some implementations of aesthetics to be done as well.
However, spring stable decisions and material decisions tests are also expected to be executed to verify the best spring constants and materials. Another notion that is guessed to be implemented is an electric powered lift system that will pull more power from the batteries.
However, an electrical system is able to be much smoother and requires no power virtually from the user. Such system can also be more precise. Moreover, ball-bearings are also able to decrease the friction and enhance the durability of a variety of elements on the lawnmowers.
History has always been an interesting topic to dig up. And when it comes to the history of lawn mowers, it definitely increases curiosity to most of the lawn owners. While this article made an attempt to give highlighted to all the significant moments of mowing innovation and technology, it also tried to enlighten you how your mower has got evolved into the one that you see today.
The lawnmower has not only improved itself but also improved the way of slashing the grass efficiently. Although, there is still some history of lawn mowers that are left to unearth, but still it has covered most of the stories.