The Vintage lawn mower was first created in 1830 by Edwin Beard Budding in the United Kingdom. He got the idea from a cotton mill looking at the way the cloth was finished. Budding decided to adapt the idea to cutting grass and the vintage lawn mower was born. Together with John Ferrabee, they started making mowers in a factory situated in Stroud. Samples of the initial vintage mowers are in various cities in the England. These early vintage lawn mowers were manufactured from cast iron and had a large rear roller with a cutting cylinder in the front. The team of Budding and Ferrabee gave license to other companies like Ransomes of Ipswich to build similar machines. This gave rise to the next generation of vintage lawn mowers. By the 1850s the first patents had lapsed, giving room for other companies to build their own machines. These gave rise to the third generation of vintage lawn mowers. Thomas Green and Son of Leeds produced a mower called the Silens Messor , this uses a chain to transmit power from the rear roller to the cutting cylinder in front. About the same time, Alexander Shanks of Arbroath started producing the now vintage Caledonia mowers while Ransomes also began production of the Automaton. These vintage lawn mowers were available with the chain or gear drive, Boxes for grass collection were optional..
Another major trend with vintage lawn mower design was the side wheel machines. These were able to mow even coarse grasses. They were a lot more inexpensive and wildly popular. The vintage motorized lawn mowers were first made in the 1890s. This was due to the availability of small steam engines as well as small petrol engines. Indeed the vintage steam lawn mowers were most popular initially but the petrol engine mowers were the markets delight by the early 1900. Vintage lawn mower manufacturers like Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies began production of lawn mowers powered by petrol engine within the first few years of the twentieth century. They became market leaders up until world war one. There was an increase in the utilization and manufacturing of lawn mowers immediately after world war one. People were moving to new suburban houses and now had small garden with lawns that needed to be cut. Atco was one of the most successful vintage lawn mower manufacturers to emerge in the post war period. The brand was initially owned by Charles H Pugh Ltd. The Atco Standard was indeed a vintage lawn mower of repute. It was the first truly massed produced powered lawn mower. Various sizes became rapidly available. Another vintage lawn mower to set the standard was the Qualcast. This achieved tremendous status between the 1920 to 1930. The vintage lawn mower models that were available included the E sidewheel and Panther roller lawn mower.
While electric power and rotary cutting may look like modern ideas they were al tried as vintage lawn mower models in the early 20s and 30s. As the years progressed vintage mowers became inceasingly light and smaller in design and were equipped with more powerful engines. Plastic technology came to play by the 1950s further bringing down the prices of the now vintage lawn mowers of that period, and making it more affordable for the masses.
Most vintage lawn mower manufacturing companies no longer exist today, either having gone out of business or have been bought by other companies, but their works of art and innovation has stood the test of time.
Vintage lawn mowers are available in many museums round the world and can be purchased either online or from various vintage lawn mower antiquity auctions. In fact vintage lawn mower clubs and vintage lawn mower association exist across the world where enthusiast share their common passion for vintage lawn mowers and appreciate the restorative work that has gone on to keep these various vintage lawn mowers still functional even till these day. The story of the vintage lawn mower is a story that shows how works of ingenuity have become works of art. The vintage mower lives on.