Education Tips & Tricks

The History and Evolution of the Lawnmower

These days, it is quick and easy to take care of your garden. You no longer have to spend entire days working in the sweltering heat to spruce your backyard so that you can relax and unwind, and instead it can be done in no time and with little effort. This enables you to spend more time relaxing and less time working.

This is largely thanks to advances to gardening tools, and none more so than the lawnmower. This has gone from an extremely heavy machine which took an immense amount of effort to work, through to an easy to use machine with many different clever features.

The Very First Design

The very first lawnmower was invented by Edwin Budding in 1830. The idea came to him after seeing a cutter used in a local cloth mill, which used a cutting cylinder which was mounted on a bench. Together with local engineer John Ferrabee, they applied this concept to create the first ever gear-powered lawnmower which was cast iron with a large rear roller and a cutting cylinder at the front. This revolutionised lawn care and the same principles are used in today’s mowers.


These machines were difficult to operate by one person, which saw the move to chains to power the machine. Although more expensive, these machines were both quieter and lighter. A few other variants were introduced to the market, but all still required a lot of effort to use.

lawn mover
lawn mover

The Introduction of Motorised Mowers

In the 1890’s, a major step was made when the first motorised mower appeared. These allowed more blades to be used and gave a much better cut in addition to being easier to use. Petrol powered mowers which the user could ride dominated the market, and there was a boom in production immediately after WW1. Soon, motorised mowers were in nearly every home.

These designs were tweaked and adapted through the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to make motorised lawnmowers lighter, smaller and more powerful. The next key advance came in the 60’s with the introduction of plastic parts; this greatly reduced production costs, but also enabled rotary blades to be used for a much better cut.

Today and the Future

Electric and battery powered mowers soon hit the market as an alternative. Innovative features have been introduced, that include the ability to mulch clipping or use levers which can make manoeuvring much easier. Looking forwards, it is thought that computer and satellite technology could be introduced. Not only could this reduce effort, but it could analyse the lawn and where needs to be mowed.

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