A lawnmower on top of some grass

The Evolution of Lawn Care Equipment

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When was the last time you manicured your lawn? Lawn care equipment has come a long way since the 1800s when goats were the only way to trim grass!

Nowadays, technological advancements have revolutionized lawn care equipment in two main ways. Firstly, the materials used to build lawn care equipment such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and garden shears have improved to prevent corrosion and maintain blade sharpness. Secondly, petrol, gas, and electric motors have been introduced to assist the cutting power of lawn mowers and the blowing power of leaf blowers.

If you’re keen to know how the above-mentioned lawn care equipment has evolved over the last century, you’re in the right place! Here’s how lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and garden shears have evolved over time.

Lawn Mowers

 A riding lawn mower

Before lawn mowers were introduced to the world in the early 1800s, people were trimming vegetation using either scythes or machetes. However, in 1830, an English inventor named Edwin Beard Bunning created the first-ever push lawn mower in Gloucestershire, England. It was inspired by the carding machine—Bunning’s earlier invention—and contained a blade in the middle that would move around a cylinder to cut the grass underneath as you pushed the mower forward.

In the 1860s, an inventor named Thomas Green introduced a chain-driven lawn mower in which the blade could be adjusted to various widths. Green’s chain-driven lawn mower used a sprocket and was less prone to breaking down compared to Bunning’s push mower. This was scrapped in favor of a spiral-blade lawnmower called the ‘reel lawn mower’ that was patented in 1868. This was the basis of the modern lawn mower design, with numerous small evolutions taking place in the years that followed.

In 1870, a push mower with a lightweight blade was invented and subsequently motorized twenty years later using either steam or petrol engines. The rotary blade cylinder mower was created in 1900, then gas-powered lawn mowers were sold to the public following the First World War.

These days, lawn mowers are highly similar to the mowers introduced in the 1990s such as the John Deere riding mower and the solar power mower. These days, cordless mowers are among the most popular choices among homeowners and those working in agriculture prefer modern riding mowers.

Leaf Blowers

A man using a leaf blower

Did you know the first-ever leaf blower was made in the late 1950s by a company known to make vacuum cleaners? The company was owned by H.L. Diehl and still makes leaf blowers to this day! At the same time, farmers around the world were taking apart crop dusters to create makeshift leaf blowers using machinery used to blow pesticides over crops.

By the 1970s, companies in the US began making petrol-powered leaf blowers in response to the massive demand for lawns at the time. These were eventually converted to handheld blowers and technological advancements made it cheaper to mass-produce them.

Unfortunately, petrol-powered leaf blowers were (and still are) immensely noisy and emit a ton of carbon monoxide as they run on fossil fuels. In response, electric leaf blowers were invented that weren’t noisy nor pollutive but offered far less power than their older, petrol-powered alternatives. Nowadays, electric leaf blowers are even more powerful than old petrol leaf blowers because modern batteries output considerable power!

Garden Shears

A pair of hand pruners

Garden shears—also known as hand pruners—have been around for thousands of years. In the early 1800s, pruning clippers called “secateurs” were invented in France and sold in both Europe and the United States. Secateurs feature numerous designs; some have long, thin blades that are ideal for trimming individual stems. On the other hand, secateurs with short, thick blades are designed to maximize the force between the blades so they can cut through thicker branches.

In the early 1920s, anvil pruners were introduced. These consist of a single blade and a flat surface. When pressure is applied on an anvil pruners’ hands, the part of the plant you wish to cut is anchored to the flat surface (the ‘anvil’). The blade then pushes through the plant matter until it slices through.

In the decades that followed, anvil pruners were modified in various ways to suit specific purposes. For instance, bypass pruners were created in which the anvil was replaced by another blade. This enabled them to cut through wood as cleanly as possible without crushing it. Similarly, parrot-beak pruners were made featuring a blade resembling a parrot’s beak to cut narrow stems.

Nowadays, garden shears feature an identical design to the ones made during the 1900s. However, the materials used to construct them have improved considerably. Stainless steel blades have been introduced to prevent rust and the newest garden shears feature titanium blades that stay sharp for longer.

Fred’s Home & Garden Offers Expert Reviews of Some of the Best Lawn Care Equipment on the Market

 Trees and flowers on either side of a lawn outside a home

Now that you know a brief history of some of the most popular pieces of lawn care equipment, the question remains—what equipment is worth investing in? One of the best ways to answer this question is by checking out reviews of the latest lawn care equipment on the market from Fred’s Home and Garden!

Fred’s Home and Garden is an Amazon affiliate that offers a wealth of resources on lawn care equipment such as gas-powered lawn mower reviews and corded electric lawn mower reviews. We also provide useful lawn mower tips and publish regular content on topics like how often one should change their lawn mower oil and how to ascertain what types of lawn care services you need.

Contact us today for solid advice on lawn care and to learn what lawn care equipment is worth investing in!

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