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The First Lawn Mowers

The First Lawn Mowers

After seeing a reel with blades in a cloth mill, Edward Budding, an engineer, elaborated on the concept and invented the reel lawn mower. The gas powered lawn mowers starting showing up around 1890 and the first riding lawnmower was invented about 100 years ago. Mr. Budding said that a gentleman who used the machine would enjoy a healthy, useful and amusing exercise.

Perhaps one of the smartest moves of the inventor was to allow others to build their own lawn mowers while still under his license, resulting in improvements and more revenue. Ransomes was one of the first companies to take advantage of that and started to produce their own versions.

The company is still very active in the lawn care environment and they have become the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial lawn mowers and lawn care equipment. When the original patents lapsed and with the increase in popularity of certain sports, such as cricket, lawn tennis, rugby and football, other companies were able to begin manufacturing their own products.

Rotary cutting and electric power were first tried out during the 1920s through the 1930s, but did not become popular until much later. The 40s brought several innovations to lawn mowers, including lighter designs and a smaller, but more powerful lawnmower engine.

Beginning in 1950, there was much technological advancement and mowers became more reliable and less expensive. What some consider to be the major improvement made over the years is the hover or rotary motor, made with lightweight plastic and lighter electric and gas motors.

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